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Congress Alleges "Multi-Crore" Scam In Singareni

The Telangana Congress showed a bunch of data that pointed at a scam of Rs. 1,500 crores in Singareni Collieries.
Hyderabad | 4th October 2017
Alleging a multi-crore scam in the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), the Telangana Congress on Wednesday demanded a high level enquiry and action against the culprits.

"There have been embezzlement of thousands of crores of rupees, tampering of records, gross mismanagement and official malpractices in the SCCL, a company jointly owned by the Government of Telangana and Government of India," TPCC Chief Spokesperson Sravan Dasoju said in his open letter to Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary.

The letter was released to the media in a press conference addressed by Sravan and other leaders at Gandhi Bhavan.

He said that an analysis of SCCL's material management, accounting procedures and financial statements clearly exposed huge manipulations and malpractices. Quoting reliable sources, Sravan said that SCCL Managing Director N Sridhar and a few of his senior management team, the Telangana Boggu Gani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS), the elected trade union leaders and TRS leaders connived to indulge in various malpractices.

Sravan said many of the the excavated coal stocks seemed to have been either been smuggled out or illegally sold several times. "During 2014-2015, in the Bellampally area (BPA), around 665 trucks of coal are alleged to have been illegally transported to M/s Orient Company. Similarly, in Medapally, a lot of manipulations have been reported regarding the coal distance and pilferages in open-cast mines that are situated in the Ramagundam area (RG1)," he alleged.

He said that the real culprits were not caught despite several official enquiries.

He also alleged malpractices in the awarding of various contracts including a washery contract in the Bhupalapalli area, open-cast mining contracts in various locations, and other supply contracts, and in employee recruitment.

The Congress leader also submitted details of "fudged records of coal stocks, and smuggling or illegal sale of coal" which he described as "the most glaring and the mother of all manipulations and mismanagement in Singareni Collieries".

He said that the coal stock position of SCCL from 11 mining areas as on March 31 was 74,54,622 lakh tonnes. "Assuming that the average value of per tonne of coal is approximately Rs 2,000, the total financial worth of the above-mentioned coal stock would be Rs. 1,490 crores. Also, in order to excavate one tonne of coal, approximately 10-12 tonnes of earth should be removed, and the accounts / financial statements should clearly depict the cost incurred to remove such a quantum of earth. Further, the excavated earth deposits should be stored somewhere for subsequent refilling. However, the cost incurred to excavate such large quantities of earth and subsequently coal is not clearly mentioned in any financial statement," Sravan said.

Sravan said that when a team of Congress leaders went for physical verification, it found that not even 5% to 10% of the coal inventory existed on the ground, and fraudulently, washery rejects were being shown as coal stocks.

"Where have 7.5 million tonnes of excavated coal, as shown in the official records, disappeared? False figures have been placed in the public domain to mislead the stakeholders," he said.

Citing huge differences in the stated coal inventory and the actual stocks, Sravan alleged that many coal stocks were either smuggled or sold illegally. "Else, we feel that the records were fudged and non-existent coal was shown only to escalate the company’s asset value and project dubious profits to please the political bosses in the state government," he said.

"It appears that it was the above mentioned Rs 1,490 crores that was used as the financial value of the coal inventory in computing the asset values of Singareni Collieries Company Limited, and accordingly the GST, income tax, royalty etc. were paid to various government agencies, and the company profits were calculated. If the records were fabricated to falsely show the non-existent coal and project false profits, it is a serious financial scam, of misrepresenting facts and figures and of illegal accounting to mislead the stakeholders, similar to that at Satyam Computers. In case the coal stocks were illegally sold or smuggled, it shows that almost Rs 1,500 crores were swindled and misappropriated. In any case, both acts are criminal in nature, and will hamper the financial health of the company and impact its very survival," the Congress leader said.

Sravan said that usually any trade union in any company was the primary whistle-blower of any corrupt practices. But ironically, TBGKS, the TRS-affiliated trade union, never raised its voice against any of these manipulations.

"It clearly shows that the SCCL Management, the Telangana government and the TBGKS have all have colluded in these manipulations," he alleged, and demanded a thorough investigation to nab the offenders, if any.

The Congress leader said that neither the SCCL management nor the Telangana government responded to the complaints made about these misappropriations. "We assume that the above-mentioned issues are only the tip of the iceberg, and that if an intense investigation were to be launched, one may find many deeper manipulations. We are worried about the survival of the Singareni Collieries Company, which is a lifeline to lakhs of people in four districts of Telangana including its direct and indirect employees," he said.

Sravan said Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao wanted to win the Singareni union elections at any cost primarily to prevent the scam from getting exposed, and to allow the TRS leaders to continue with irregularities in future. For the same reason, he alleged that the TRS leaders were distributing upto Rs. 5,000 for each vote in favour of the TBGKS.

"KCR's family has amassed huge illegal wealth through kickbacks from contractors of Mission Bhagiratha, irrigation and other projects. They are now distributing the same to lure Singareni workers," he said.

He also accused the TRS government of misusing official machinery including the police, revenue and mines departments, and alleged that some top officials of the SCCL management including MD Sridhar himself were trying to influence upon workers to vote in favour of the TBGKS.

The Congress leader also challenged the Chief Minister to announce that the TRS would not contest the next general elections in the entire coal belt if he failed to fulfil the promises that he made to the Singareni workers.
filed in:  Telangana, Corruption, Dasoju Sravan, Telangana Congress, TRS, Elections, Employee Union, KCR, Singareni Coal Mines
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