Speaking to SupportBiz on the issue, R. Shivakumar, President, FKCCI, said, “Kumar Mangalam Birla is one of the most respected figures in the Indian business community, who has maintained a clean image all his life. His contribution to the Indian economy is beyond what one can imagine. Booking a person like him in a scam that has attracted international attention will invite a huge negative impact on the Indian industry.”
Filing its First Information Report (FIR) on Tuesday, the CBI named Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla group and former coal secretary PC Parekh in a case relating to alleged irregularities in allocation of two coal blocks in Orissa way back in 2005. The case is regarding the allocation of Talabira-II coalfield in the Jharsuguda district of Odisha to Hindalco Industries Ltd, the world’s largest aluminum rolling company. Hindalco is the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group.
“The coal block which was reserved for the public sector is partially allocated to the private sector after the completion of the allotment process and cannot be termed wrong after 8 years,” Shivakumar said in a press note earlier. “This will negate the growth. Hard facts are to be considered before the filing of the FIR and these actions result in creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and the corporate world will work under the fear and the prevent bureaucracy from working.”
Many industry leaders including chairman of Godrej Group Adi Godej, former Infosys chairman Mohandas Pai, HDFC Bank chairman Deepak Parekh, country head of HSBC India Naina Lal Kidwai and industry associations such as Assocham and PHD Chamber of Commerce had voiced their concerns on the issue.