TCI Seeks Probes Of Coal India

Aug 27 2012 | 12:07pm ET

The Children's Investment Fund Management is keeping up the heat on the Indian government and a state-controlled coal company.

The British activist's point man on Coal India issues, partner Oscar Veldhuijzen, has called for two probes into alleged corruption at the company, of which the Indian government owns 90%. TCI has accused the government of improper involvement at Coal India, including a orders to boost coal supplies and lower prices for power producers, and the hedge fund has already sued, alleging that the moves violate treaties between India and the U.K. and Cyprus.

Now, it wants India's Comptroller and Auditor General and Central Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter.

"It is TCI's intention to fight corruption which will benefit the people of India and all minority shareholders in PSUs," such as TCI, which owns 2% of Coal India, Veldhuijzen said. "We call upon the CAG and CBI to investigate the scandal of FSA coal being sold at a significant discount to market levels, which is resulting in corruption as demand outstrips supply."

The discounted sales have "strong parallels with the captive coal block allocation scandal (known as Coalgate) in both its motive and effect," TCI said. "The willingness of the Government of India to entertain such requests and to use its power to improperly control the affairs of Coal India is encouraging corruption."

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