Large miners in Goa, who have been operating in the state for more than 50 years after being granted leases during the earlier Portuguese rule, say the illegal mining started after iron ore prices double since 2008 as steel mills in China, which is deficient i iron ore, rushed to buy low-grade ore from Goa.

Unscrupulous businessmen have been minting money at the cost of the industry and the exchequer, thanks to a faulty mining policy, an investigation shows. Many companies which had got coal blocks at various points of time for setting up iron and steel plants have since sold the allotted blocks for huge gains rather than going ahead with these projects.

The CAG is at it again. About 16 months after it rocked the UPA government with its explosive report on allocation of 2G spectrum and licenses, the Comptroller & Auditor General's draft report titled 'Performance Audit of Coal Block Allocations' says the government has extended "undue benefits", totalling a mind boggling Rs 10.67 lakh crore, to commercial entities by giving them 155 coal acreage without auction between 2004 and 2009.

London-based hedge fund, The Children's Investment Fund, which owns 1 percent of Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, has demanded to engage with on matters related to business and operations of CIL, in particular. On the other hand, Coal India isn't happy over discussing confidential matters with a selective investor as it may lead to insider trading.

The environment is holding up growth and economic development in India. This is the common refrain in circles that matter. So when the Group of Ministers tasked to resolve the issue of coal mining in forests asked for a report on what needs to be done, it was told that the best would be dismantle green conditions, almost completely.

The chief ministers of India's mineral-rich states are keenly watching the progress of the new Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Bill that was recently approved by the Union cabinet. While many of them have been dragged into illegal mining controversies, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh has welcomed any scrutiny of the state's mining industry.

The private sector has not fully utilised the allocation of coal blocks to them, said a senior official from the Ministry of Power. The official added, private sector would produce only 20 per cent of the estimated coal production from the blocks.

In the current scenario where coal shortage has severely impacted power generation, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has an onerous task: ensuring that coal production is on target. In an interview, the minister highlights the reasons for the demand-supply mismatch.

The CAG has advised the Oil Ministry to allow Reliance Industries (RIL) to recover expenditure on its eastern offshore KG-D6 field only after it has been audited.

Private investors in India's power generation sector are worried. Fuel shortage is staring at their plants. Consumers are reading with disbelief at the much hyped India growth story - load shedding is a regular phenomenon in most urban centres. Rural consumers have no such problem - forget electricity even the much flaunted growth story keep clear off them.