Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has asked the government to "appoint any auditor other than the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)" for conducting the audit of its KG-D6 block, India's largest gas producing block situated off the eastern coast.
Audit of the KG-D6 block for the period 2008 to 2012 has been set as an important precursor by the petroleum ministry for giving regulatory approvals to RIL for future development of its KG-D6 block, which has shown a consistent decline in gas production over the past two years.
"Under the CAG Act, the CAG is entitled to carry out an audit of the central government, the state government or government body or bodies... where if it deems fit can concern itself with the performance of an auditee (petroleum ministry) and cannot be applicable to any audit of the contractor (RIL in this case)," RIL said in its six-page letter of September 18 to the petroleum ministry.
The company also stated that in case the government still insists on an audit by the CAG, the same should be done with an assurance that the report will be submitted only to the petroleum ministry (and not to Parliament as is required under the CAG Act).
"All information submitted by RIL during the course of the audit be kept and considered confidential and not disclosed to any third party," it added.
Instead of a financial audit of the company's book of accounts - as is required under the provisions of the production sharing contract (PSC) for the D6 field - RIL said the audit turned out to be a audit of its performance and operating procedures and decisions that dos not comply with the CAG Act provisions.