Former coal secretary PC Parakh, who is called as an upright, competent and honest officer by several former bureaucrats and activists, said the PM holds highest responsibility as he took final decision to allocate the blocks
In a twist to the coalgate scam, Prakash Chandra (PC) Parakh, former secretary for coal has raised questions over the probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the role played by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in allocation of coal blocks.
Asking the CBI to scrap the probe, the former secretary in an interview to CNN-IBN, said, "In my view, there is no scam. But, if there is a conspiracy, then there are different members in this conspiracy. There is Kumar Mangalam Birla who made the representation, he is one conspirator. I, who examined the case and made a recommendation, I can be another conspirator and the Prime Minister, who as the Coal Minister, took the final decision, is the third conspirator.”
"Dasari Narayan Rao (the then minister of state for coal) must also be questioned in this case as the file had gone through him as well. Since the final decision (to allocate the coal block) was taken by the Prime Minister, his responsibility is the highest (in this case)," Parakh said.
On Tuesday, the CBI registered a first information report (FIR) against Parakh as well as the chairman of Aditya Birla group and Hindalco Industries Ltd.
Several prominent bureaucrats as well activists have called Parakh as an upright, competent and honest officer. Even the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its report in August 2012 considered the former secretary as whistleblower. CAG had lauded Parakh for opposing the present system of allocating coal blocks by the screening committee comprising officers of concerned ministries.
EAS Sarma, former secretary to the government of India (GoI) said, "I feel distressed that his motives should be questioned in the allotment of coal blocks. I understand he was the first Coal Secretary to have formally opposed the non-transparent system of first-come-first-served scheme of allotment of coal blocks and recommended a more transparent system of auctioning. Despite his best efforts, he was overruled!"
"It is ironic that honest officers like Parakh should face investigations whereas dishonest politicians, corporates and officials should be let off. This will certainly erode the credibility of the government which has been on the decline anyway," Sarma said.
Even Greenpeace India has lauded the efforts of Parakh. In a statement, it said, "The investigation needs to go well beyond Parakh, to the ministers in charge of the decisions. The repeated delays in the introduction of the auction policy were a result of decisions taken by several ministers of the coal ministry, including the PM who intermittently held charge of the ministry. In fact, Parakh called for the creation of a transparent coal block auction policy, but was apparently over-ruled by other ministers."
VK Srinivasan, former additional secretary, Andhra Pradesh called Parakh as 'a diligent and straight-forward person', who has taken several decisions using his discretion and technical knowledge in relation to industry proposals. "In this case, while we have not had access to the material on record, one must remember that Prakash Parakh is a geologist and he was dealing with a proposal pending for a long time before he took charge as a coal secretary. The real issues are: whether there can be a techno-economic reason for Aditya Birla Group to get a share in the coal block," Srinivasan said.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help everyone improve communication as well as own performance in any activity. Shekhar Naware, well known theatre personality explained this with a delightful presentation
Moneylife Foundation’s seminar on NLP by well-known Marathi actor Shekhar Naware captivated the audience with a talk on how human communication techniques can be improved to remove the mismatch between personality-types that lead to miscommunication. Techniques to harness the power of your mind to improve own performance in any field was shared by Mr Naware with numerous real life examples
Improving concentration, communicating better, dealing with your fears and giving your best performance any time can be achieved with NLP. It techniques are targeted to produce results.
Proven NLP techniques can be applied to achieve extraordinary results. Simple visualisation of successful outcomes or talking to oneself to bring about positive results are some ways to improving performance in any field and the confidence generated can be repeated in future situations. According to Mr Naware the visual and audio instructions activate the mental resources to take a target and work towards it. NLP is also useful to remove phobias and fear.
Mr Naware has worked with athletes, sports person and actors to dramatically enhance their mental resources to be able to change the outcome of their efforts. Mr Naware gave examples of how a few sessions of NLP training of several Ranji Trophy players in Mumbai made a huge difference to their game. Mr Naware says, “NLP is easy to learn and requires a little application and practice, but remember, this talk is just an introduction to the vast power of your own mind.”
This programme received an enormous response from the audience and we had to close the attendance the day after registration opened. The audience participated wholeheartedly by asking questions relating to meditation, intuition, subconscious mind, hypnosis, etc. Eagerness to learn more about NLP was evident with the enthusiasm of those who attended an enlightening seminar. Moneylife and Mr Naware will conduct a full-day NLP session soon. Watch out for the announcement.
Ahmedabad-based Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS) had asked the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as well as state governments to streamline the passport verification process used by police personnel across the country in order to avoid harassment of citizens, especially seniors.
"Since the state police is paid for their services by the regional passport office (RPO), they are expected to give factual details rather than passport office taking their word for granted and record 'adverse' comments without anything adverse is found and in the process maligning or threatening honest, law abiding citizens," the consumer society said in a release.
CERS said it observed adversity in police reporting related to passport verification with a senior citizen. A septuagenarian citizen from Gujarat received a letter from the RPO informing about his 'adverse police report' due to non-cooperation on his part. However, the 73 year old was never contacted by the local police station either through phone, letter or personal visit.
The RPO sent him a standard warning letter to report to the passport office immediately else his passport would be cancelled. That too, when this gentleman had received his passport six months ago, in the meantime there was no verification conducted by the police. Through CERS, the septuagenarian has asked certain questions over the police verification process. He said, "...if the police does not do the job quickly or competently, the responsibility lies with RPO as the citizens pay RPO fees for the passport upfront. Can MEA-RPO proceed with the assumption that all citizens are potential criminals unless proven innocent? The whole system smells of either lethargy by not conducting the probe properly or expecting the citizens to chase the police to clear their file or questionable motives."
The consumer society had also asked the MEA to modify its standard letters and communicate to citizens the need to visit passport office. "With the issue of passport, all information about policy inquiry must be provided so that if citizens have to take initiative, they must know. At the same time, police feedback must be verified and a senior officer must check what attempt has been made by police to contact citizen and whether there is sufficient reason to assume 'non-cooperation' or 'adverse reporting'. The procedure of police inquiry, therefore, must be streamlined, monitored and authority of the police must be used with a sense of accountability and sensitivity. It is the duty of the RPO to verify the facts and ask the police dept. why they reached such a conclusion. The state government should advice all police stations to respect citizens, streamline their procedures and keep a track of attempts made to contact citizens along with factual details," CERS said in the release.