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Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and Other Truths

Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and Other Truths

PC Parakh and

  • $ 1962


In 2012, a controversy over allocation of coal blocks to private companies rocked the country. The government s finance watchdog the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found the government had picked favourites and avoided open and competitive bidding which would have generated far more revenue for a cash-starved state. The CAG concluded that India had lost ` 1.86 lakh crore (over $ 30 billion) in the process, all of which went to the private companies. It was the biggest recorded scam in the history of India. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India s premier investigation agency, then filed an FIR against the top officer in the coal ministry Secretary PC Parakh and industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla. Parakh had by then earned a fine reputation for ability and integrity in over three decades as a civil servant. His stint as the top bureaucrat in the coal ministry was his l...