Free Press Journal

India Inc. seeks speedy disposal of coal block cases



Mumbai: India Inc. on Thursday sought a speedy disposal of the coal block allocations cases against some industrialists like Kumar Mangalam Birla to avoid embarrassment for Indian business leaders and group organisations.

Assocham president Rana Kapoor said that a situation has arisen whereby “some unsubstantiated legal cases” are being pursued against well-established and credible business groups, and highly reputed and leading industrialists like Birla, “based on dated perceptions, interpretations and mere inferences”.

He pointed out that it is critical to ensure a conducive, fair and transparent environment if India needs to grow at its potential growth rate of 10 percent or more.

Kapoor sought an environment where industrialists and corporate leaders can openly consult with members of the government, bureaucracy and regulators as a part of their normal business conduct without the fear of future legal and investigative repercussions.

“This is a practice across most developed economies, and also being followed in our country India for decades where top business leaders regularly meet ministers and bureaucrats for organisational objectives,” Kapoor said.

Reiterating that Assocham is strongly opposed to corruption in any form and in favour of transparent and swift resolution of legislative cases, Kapoor commended the government’s stance against graft, but called for resolving on priority cases like the one faced by Birla.

He lauded the manner in which the current round of coal block allocations has got off to a highly encouraging start, signalling not just access of steady coal reserved for the industry, but also ensuring that fair valuation of the natural resource is realised by the exchequer.

It is also putting to rest some of the controversial legacy issues around the coal block allocations which would further improve the investment climate, Kapoor concluded.