Oppn's claims on coal block allocation baseless: Goa minister

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Panaji, Mar 31 (PTI) A day after the Opposition stalled the question hour in the Goa legislative Assembly over the allocation of a coal block, State Industries Minister Vishwajit Rane on Wednesday said they were 'barking up the wrong tree'.

The allegations of corruption levelled against the state government are 'baseless', as the coal block is yet to be allotted to any company.

The Central government has allocated a coal block in Madhya Pradesh to Goa.

The Opposition on Tuesday stalled the question hour and alleged that the state government was involved in Rs 1,000 crore coal block scam and had roped in a tainted company as a consultant for the project.

Responding to the allegations, Rane told reporters that the consultant chosen for the project has worked with 20 public sector undertakings in the past and has experience in coal blocks.

'The company has already clarified that the cases against it are either withdrawn or yet to be charge-sheeted,' Rane said.

The allocation of the coal block has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country, he said, adding that the state government is yet to float a request for qualification (RFQ) for the block.

The Opposition should refrain from making such allegations, he said.

The previous governments are under scanner, as 22 files created during their time on the coal block have been confiscated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the minister claimed.

'We are yet to get back those 22 files,' he said, adding that the opposition was 'barking up the wrong tree.' PTI RPS ARU ARU