New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against industrialist Aditya Birla Group chief Kumar Mangalam Birla in connection with the coal blocks allocation scam, its 14th FIR in the multi-crore scandal. Reports indicate that the CBI is conducting raids on the premises of the company in various cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
FIRs have also been filed against NALCO, HINDALCO and former secretary coal PC Parakh. The CBI has alleged that Birla and his company were shown undue favour in being allotted a coal block in 2005.
On Tuesday, Hindalco Industries shares are among the top losers on the Indian stock markets.
In September last year, Aditya Birla Group's flagship company Hindalco Industries Ltd' chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla had reassured shareholders that none of the company's projects and coal blocks are mired in the ongoing illegal coal block allocation scam that was brought to light by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
“None of the company's coal blocks are stuck because of the 'coalgate' scam,” Kumar Mangalam Birla told shareholders at the company's 53rd annual general meeting in Mumbai. “None of our ongoing expansion projects and greenfield projects will get delayed because of this.”
Last month, a CAG report questioned the basis of the government's method of coal block allocation and criticised the government for opting not to choose a competitive bidding method. CAG said 155 such coal block allocations had resulted in windfall gains of over Rs 10 lakh crore for those who were allocated the coal blocks.
Hindalco, currently, is in the final stages of setting up aluminium plants at Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. It recently got approval for mining coal at the Mahan coal block to fire its captive power plants for the 395,000 tonnes per annum aluminium plant at Mahan.
Kumar Mangalam Birla told shareholders that the company will be spending roughly Rs 10,000 crore on capital expenditure in India apart from a further $1.5 billion for Novelis' expansion and Greenfield projects.
“All of the company's major strategic expansions — in Brazil, South Korea and the United States — are on track,” he had said. “In Brazil we would be investing $380 million, in US it will be $200 million and in Korea we will put in $400 million.”