The great coal robbery: How three Js multiplied their wealth
Is it possible to quantify the benefits to the alleged beneficiaries of the government’s coal block largesse?
Yes. Just use the market capitalisation yardstick.
By that measure, the worth of three influential and politically connected families — Jindals, Jayaswals and Jajodias — have rocketed by a whopping 2500% to 23000% in 10 years starting March 2002.
It cannot be a coincidence that firms owned by these three families bagged 10% of all coal reserves allotted after the captive mining sector was opened to private players in 1993.
Since that year, 195 coal leases were handed to 289 firms (several operating in consortium) with total reserves adding up to 43.35 billion tonnes.
In the allocations, Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s company, Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL), emerged as the biggest beneficiary. It was allocated nine coal blocks with geological reserves of 2.58 billion tonnes or 6% ….