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In what may come as a huge relief to Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, the CBI is likely to close the coal scam case against him, reports TheEconomic Times today.An official told ET that they hope to close the coal case by March before the new government is sworn in.But why is the CBI in a hurry to close the case against Birla?Only a month back the CBI decided to keep the pressure on Kumar Birla, submitting to the Supreme Court a diary it recovered from the group's offices on October 16.The diary, the CBI had said, contains lists of about 1,000 payments made over a 10-year period to politicians and Members of Parliament across party lines. One more diary recovered by the income tax department sleuths also shows receipts adding up to almost Rs 100 crore.An Indian Express report had noted, "The dates on which these payments have been made, sources said, are around the time of two Lok Sabha elections and several elections of state Assemblies."According to a study by the Associationfor Democratic Reforms and National Reforms,the Aditya Birla Group was the top corporate donor to both the ruling Congress party as well as the opposition Bhartiya Janta Party.The Aditya Birla Group donated the maximum amount of Rs 36.41 crore to the Congress and Rs 26.57 crore to BJP.The CBI had named Birla and former Coal Secretary PC Parakh in an FIR in October last year, charging them with criminal conspiracy and corruption in connection with the allocation of coal blocks eight years ago in the Talabira block, Odisha. The block, meant for PSUs Mahanadi Coalfields and Neyveli Lignite, was eventually allotted to Hindalco.However, the CBI is yet to question Parakh or Birla. And now the report says that Birla may not be questioned at all.Sources in the investigating agency had alleged that Parakh extended undue favour to Birla by overturning a decision of the screening committee that had not recommended allocation of the blocks to aluminium maker Hindalco. The FIR alleged criminal conspiracy by Birla and misuse of position by Parakh.Early in November, Kumar Mangalam Birla met Finance Minister P Chidambaram for the second time in less than three weeks. "As of now, I am not worried about it. There is nothing wrong (that) has been done, so why should one worry? he had told reporters.In December, PTI reported that theCBI was in the process of closing one of the PEs, in which it was probing alleged irregularities in Anil Ambani's ADAG group run Ulta Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Sasan, Madhya Pradesh citing a policy decision vetted by empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM).The preliminary enquiry was registered on the directions of Supreme Court which had asked the CBI to probe 14 issues which included supply of low floor buses by Tata motors to Tamil Nadu government, grant of spectrum and alleged market manipulations and hammering of stocks by Unitech.CBI sources had said it has come to the light that use of surplus coal from the Sasan UMPP was approved on two separate occasions by two EGoMs. They said since it was a policy decision, CBI was not likely to question it.

Wanted to marry creativity with technology and Travelkhana fits the bill, says CEO Pushpinder Singh

from firstpost

Wanted to marry creativity with technology and Travelkhana fits the bill, says CEO Pushpinder Singh

Success Quotient is a weekly feature that appears every Friday on Firstpost, which looks at the pains and joys en route to success for a head honcho - whether a CEO, MD or an entrepreneur. The column ...


Blackmoney compliance window disclosures to be kept secret

from firstpost

Blackmoney compliance window disclosures to be kept secret

New Delhi: Disclosures made in the 4-month compliance window beginning June 1 for domestic black money holders to come clean will be kept secret, according to an amendment to the Finance Bill 2016 app...

CIITrade.in B2B E-commerce Platform Powered by cloudBuy Now Opens for Business

from in.com

CIITrade.in B2B E-commerce Platform Powered by cloudBuy Now Opens for Business

cloudBuy plc, the global provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions, announced that CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), India’s largest Industry Association has opened www.CIITrade.in, a B2B e-commerce platform, which will enable its members and other businesses to trade online. CIITrade.in brings together B2B buyers and sellers on a common platform to trade domestically in India as well as globally.

Sensex down for 2nd week as global growth worries return

from firstpost

Sensex down for 2nd week as global growth worries return

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex slipped by a marginal 34 points today to log its fourth fall in five sessions as fresh global growth worries following lacklustre factory data and tepid domestic earnings pulled...

E-filing: Bank account based validation facility activated

from firstpost

E-filing: Bank account based validation facility activated

New Delhi: The Income Tax department launched the bank account-based validation system for filinge-ITRs by taxpayers as part of its measure to enhance thepaperless regime of filing the annual IT retur...

50 bps lending rate cut likely by Sept: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

from firstpost

50 bps lending rate cut likely by Sept: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

New Delhi: Banks in India are expected to cut lending rates by up to 50 basis points by September as there is sufficient liquidity in the system, says a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report.According ...

Govt taking steps to set up funds to promote pharma sector: Ananth Kumar

from firstpost

Govt taking steps to set up funds to promote pharma sector: Ananth Kumar

New Delhi:The Department of Pharmaceuticals is formulating aPharmaceutical Technology Upgradation Assistance Scheme tosupport the pharma industry (medium enterprises only) "toupgrade their re...