Skip to main content

"Undue benefits" in Gujarat to business groups Reliance, Adani, Essar under Modi government: CAG

By Our Representative
In what may prove to be a major embarrassment for Narendra Modi’s Gujarat model of development, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has sharply criticized the state government for giving “undue benefits” to three of the biggest investors in Gujarat – Reliance, Adanis and Essar. The CAG report, which was tabled in the Gujarat state assembly, has particularly come down heavily on the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) failing to recover “full wharfage rate” between 2008-09 and 2012-13 from the Reliance Petroleum Ltd’s captive jetty in Sikka, Jamnagar.
The CAG said, "Undue benefit was extended to Reliance Petroleum Ltd (RPL) by non-recovery of full wharfage rate after the cost of captive jetty (Rs 362.01 crore) constructed by it was set-off. Further, erroneous calculation of set-off value and application of incorrect wharfage rate resulted in short recovery of Rs 649.29 crore from Reliance Petroleum." RPL is the country’s biggest oil refinery, and its captive jetty has two single buoy moorings for captive consumption.
As for the Adani Group, which has been sharply criticized for being closest to Modi, CAG has wondered how Mundra Port in Kutch district could be turned into Adani Port. Pointing out that the Mundra Port was actually planned under the join sector of public-private partnership, it has said, the Gujarat government did not follow competitive bidding process while disinvesting its stakes in the Mundra port. The Mundra port was jointly owned by the Adani Port Ltd and Gujarat Ports Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (GIPDCL), a special purpose vehicle of the Gujarat Maritime Board.
Coming to the Essar Group, CAG said, the “change” of delivery point subsequent to finalisation of power purchase agreement (PPA) – which took place with the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) -- led to passing of “undue benefit to Essar Power Gujarat Ltd for Rs 587.50 crore during the tenure of PPA” The PPA was signed in February 2007). CAG also noted, the change in the delivery point helped the Essar Power  “save” Rs 52 crore, as it did not have to construct transmission lines, and saved another Rs 21.42 crore per annum as there “no line losses”. The agreement with the GUVNL was supplying 1,000 MW of power for 25 years.
Just like the previous few years, this year, too, the Gujarat government placed the CAG report in the Gujarat state assembly on the last day of its session. The tradition of placing CAG report, which has proved to be embarrassing for the government, on the last day began about more than a decade ago. Previously, the CAG report would be placed in the house soon within ten days of the beginning of the budget session. Not without reason, this has helped the ruling party evade any discussion on contentious issues mentioned in CAG reports.
Apart from criticizing the Gujarat government of being soft to big business houses,  CAG for its report ending March 2013 has simultaneously taken on the government for "lack of effective  monitoring  mechanism in prisons", which it said resulted in serious security lapses. The result was the excavation of a tunnel inside a yard of the Sabarmati Central jail in February 2013, dug by a group of 55 prisoners, all of whom were accused in cases of 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts at the Civil Hospital, killing about 30 persons.
The CAG noted, "Out of the 26 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras installed in Sabarmati Central Jail in September 2007, 22 cameras were not working and system of taking footage had not been developed." It added, "Though there was shortage of 50 per cent of security staff for a long time and permission was granted by the government for recruitment of sepoys, the process for recruitment remained incomplete."
 "There were no watch towers surrounding the main wall of the old prison and the watch towers constructed inside were broken and abandoned. Binoculars and searchlights were not provided to staff on duty on the watch tower in test-checked prisons," the CAG said, adding, this was in against the norms worked out by the Model Prison Manual. The escape plan of prisoners came to light on February 2013 after the authorities found that a 218-feet long tunnel inside barrack No 4 of Sabarmati Jail  had already been dug. 

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.