Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mother of all Scams?

India's ruling Congress party has been hit by a series of damaging corruption scandals over the past year. The opposition has made regular calls for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resign, over every scam that has gripped the nation.
The major corruption controversies to have beset the government in its second term of office are:-
2G Spectrum scan, 2011: It involved government officials illegally undercharging mobile telephony companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they would then use to create 2G subscriptions for cell phones.
Commonwealth Games, 2010: Billions of dollars have been spent on the sporting event despite the fact that poverty in India is widespread. Additionally, several other problems related to it, have been brought forward, including serious corruption by officials of the Games' Organising Committee, delays in the construction of main Games' venues, infrastructural compromise, and exceptionally poor ticket sales before the event.
The latest scandal to hit the industry is the mining scandal which led to the unseating of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa
BS Yeddyurappa of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) quit in July,2011 after an anti-corruption report named him as a key suspect in a scam which allegedly cost the exchequer more than $3bn. Mr Yeddyurappa denied any wrongdoing.
India is rich in lucrative minerals. Coal mining in India has a long history of commercial exploitation covering nearly 220 years. India has some of the most humongous reserves of coal in the world (approx. 267 billion tonnes.)
Over the last two decades, India has opened up mining to private companies without strong and independent regulation.
Coal Mining Scam or Coalgate is allegedly a corruption scandal in which the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) office accused the Government of India for providing the nation's coal deposits to private and state-run entities in an irregular and arbitrary manner instead of publicly auctioning them off to the highest bidder, resulting in a loss of approximately Rs. 186,000 crore to the exchequer during the period 2004-2009. There were leaks of the report in media in March 2012 which claimed the figure to be around Rs. 1,060,000 crore.
BJP has now demanded that the "controversial" allocation of coal block should be cancelled with immediate effect. However today, August 25, BJP has refused to let the Parliament function the Prime Minister, Manmohan singh, does not provide his resignation.
I have been following this particular story for some time, especially considering the fact that every day now, there is a constant fight between the ruling party and opposition. But what is really not surprising is that for every scam, the opposition has asked for somebody’s resignation.
But is this really the "The mother of all Scams" as the media is calling it?

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