CAG raps govt for bending to Reliance

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 03, 2012 03:02 hrs

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has raised objections with the oil ministry for agreeing to Reliance Industries Limited's (RIL) conditions to restrict a scrutiny of its accounts in connection with gas extraction from the Krishna-Godavari D6 basin.

The federal auditor reportedly told the ministry that it should have been consulted before agreeing to the terms set by Reliance.

The conditions included RIL purportedly demanding that the CAG audit of the KG-D6 basin be kept within the oil ministry and not made public and tabled in Parliament, as is the procedure.

RIL also asked for the audit to be carried out in its own premises and that it would give no other documents apart from those prescribed in the KG-D6 contract, media reports said.

Pulling up the government for agreeing to the terms, the CAG said that it always summons relevant documents and papers from the oil ministry as well as the operator and asserted that the final audit report will be presented to Parliament, which is mandated by law.

The CAG also said that even though the CAG does not evaluate private companies such as Reliance, it will evaluate the performance of the oil ministry in connection with the contract, which automatically comes under review.

Oil Minister Veerappa Moily said that the ministry will try to resolve the situation as early as possible.

A fresh controversy over Reliance's operations at the KG-D6 basin was sparked this week after activist Arvind Kejriwal claimed to have evidence to prove that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had favoured the company.

The India Against Corruption (IAC) activist also alleged that former minister Jaipal Reddy was removed because he was not allowing RIL to bend the contract to its benefit and that that during its rule, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too had helped the company.

Both the government and Reliance have denied the allegations.

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