As many as 142 coal linkage companies of Jharkhand will be investigated on suspicion that they are shell companies involved in acquiring coal on subsidised rate only to sell it in black market.

Every body knows that small and medium sector (MSME) industries make significant contribution in the economic and industrial development of the country. 

Also,MSMEs provide a large number of jobs, beside earning foreign currencies through exports of their goods.For them, the government has designed a coal linkage policy.

As per this policy, since coal mining firms are public sector companies, allocation of coal needed by any  MSME becomes an important initiative.Similarly,the state government run Jharkhand Mineral Development Corporation identifies it and register this coal needy MSME as coal linkage company.

In effect, the coal linkage company gets coal allotted  with active guidance of coal assigned state government. 

This coal linkage policy of the government was being exploited fraudulently.

Investigation revealed that in coal rich Jharkhand,a total of 142 bogus companies or shell companies had gained coal linkage bebigits. As such, their owners,who were allotted coal at a subsidised rate fixed by the government, have been making millions of rupees by selling huge quantity of coal in black market.

Since many of these companies are operating on paper and lifting coal on subsidised rate to sell it at market rate, they were learnt to be under the radar of investigating agencies.

Officially,Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation Limited (JSMDS), a subsidiary unit of the Mines Department, has issued a list of such companies and sought information from the general public regarding these sell companies. 

The owners have have been asked to tell whether these companies have any factory.The corporation has sought to know whether these companies are taking coal only for their factories or for some other purpose. 

According to a senior official of the Mines Department, this scam actually starts at the district administration level itself.Even the police was learnt to be involved in this mega crime.

What is noteworthy is that some such companies have also been exposed in recent times and now these companies are being officially investigated, it is learnt.

The said list has also been sent by JSMDC to the district administration and information has been sought from concerned officials about the companies.

Under the provision of coal linkage, this facility is being availed by  these suspected shell companies for many years, a report published in a local Hindi daily in Ranchi.

According to a senior official of the Mines Department, this coal scam actually starts at the district administration level itself. Many shell companies have been opened in the name of providing coal to the factories.

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