CAG disowns coal blocks report, says no loss to exchequer

New Delhi : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Thursday said its audit report on coal block allocations was still under preparation and a media report suggesting a Rs.10.67 lakh crore loss to exchequer was misleading and untrue.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the country’s official auditor said it was not of the view that the “unintended benefit to the allocatee is an equivalent loss to the exchequer”.

“In the extant case, the details being brought out were observations which are under discussion at a very preliminary stage and do not even constitute our pre-final draft and hence are exceedingly misleading,” the CAG said.

The CAG said it has changed its thinking on the draft reports following the clarifications provided by the concerned ministry.

“Pursuant to a clarification provided by the ministry in exit conferences held on February 9, 2012 and March 9, 2012, we have changed our thinking,” it said.

“In fact, it is not even our case that the unintended benefit to the allocatee is an equivalent loss to the exchequer.”

A newspaper reported Thursday that the CAG in its draft report on coal mining has accused the government of having given “undue benefits” to a number of companies, leading to a loss of Rs.10.67 lakh crore to the national exchequer during 2004-09.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that it received a letter from the CAG Thursday afternoon.

The CAG said “the leak of the initial draft causes great embarrassment as the audit report is still under preparation. Such leakage causes very deep anguish”.

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