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CAG, govt trade barbs on gas

The government’s independent auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas are locked in a war of words over the CAG’s charges against private companies like Reliance and Cairn in its draft report.

business Updated: Jun 27, 2011 22:04 IST
HT Correspondent

The government’s independent auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas are locked in a war of words over the CAG’s charges against private companies like Reliance and Cairn in its draft report.

The petroleum ministry said the CAG had avoided meeting the companies all through the audit of KG-D6 gas fields (of Reliance) and Rajasthan oilfields (of Cairn) last year. The auditor hit back on Monday saying it “took into account all relevant facts furnished by the concerned parties to ensure a balanced and objective reporting (of the findings in its draft report).”

“Interactive meetings were held with two operators, including Reliance Industries Limited, prior to the finalisation of the draft performance audit report,” CAG said in a statement on Monday, adding that “at no stage did this office refuse any operator an opportunity to respond to observations made by us.”

The petroleum ministry had in its June 22 letter to the CAG stated that “in the interactive meeting... one of the operators gave a presentation on how the project was executed and no audit observations were discussed. In the other meeting, only one observation was discussed with the operator. The operators were not given any draft report before this meeting so that they could have come prepared with some reply.”

The CAG has also turned down the petroleum ministry’s plea that the private operators be given a chance to present their views even now.