Here’s what I don’t understand – If we have that much money (186,000 crore (US$33.67 billion)) worth of coal still left, why is there such a huge fuss about running out of fossil fuels? I mean seriously, that’s a lot of money. In any currency. And it’s not even like that much coal was auctioned off to the highest bidder. They were pretty clear on that. By “they”, I mean The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. They were pretty clear about the failure to auction the coal to highest bidders. In fact, they even complained about it.
So getting back to how large that sum is and how our energy problem is an over-hyped, exaggerated issue. We’re definitely facing an energy crisis and unfortunately for the CAG, authorities much higher than them have confirmed this. So I’m thinking either they’ve fudged the numbers or they’re just kicking the Congress Party when they’re down. I’d like to think it’s a combination of the two. But more importantly, the fudging is not so much fudging but speculation. And how! Making headlines, blaming the prime minister, the works. Just the recognition that the CAG must’ve gotten through the coalgate scam is substantial. But as several journalists rightly observed after the 186,000 crore smoke cleared and the analysis began, the loss cannot be termed “loss” in the first place. It’s just speculative number and whatever its integral value, that’s all it’ll be.
Perhaps the damage has been done. For people who finally made their peace with the 2g scam, an even bigger scam with actual numbers and the term loss on every newspaper in the country must’ve come as a rude shock. The rationalization, as usual came much later but the damage was done. The toast sandwich walla who rents a sigdi was cribbing about it.