New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) The White Paper presented in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman on Thursday states that the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government’s decade of governance was marked by a policy of misadventures and scams such as the coal, telecom and Commonwealth Games corruption scandals.
It lists the “non-transparent auction of public resources related to the coal and telecom spectrum, the spectre of retrospective taxation, unsustainable demand stimulus and ill-targeted subsidies and reckless lending by the banking sector with undertones of favouritism, etc.” to criticise the UPA rule.
The 2G spectrum scam involving 122 telecom licenses that had sliced Rs 1.76 lakh crore off the exchequer as per the estimates of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), the coal gate scam costing Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer, the Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam, etc., indicated an environment of heightened political uncertainty and reflected poorly on India’s image as an investment destination, the White Paper states.
It points out that the coal scam shook the conscience of the nation in 2014.
Before 2014, the allocation of coal blocks was done on an arbitrary basis without following a transparent process to allocate the blocks.
The coal sector was excluded from competition and transparency and the sector lacked investments and efficiencies.
These actions were scrutinised by investigation agencies, and in 2014, the Supreme Court of cancelled the allocation of 204 coal mines/blocks allocated since 1993.