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Give us free, unfettered access, says CAG

business Updated: Aug 11, 2009 22:25 IST
HT Correspondent

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has told the government that lack of access to the records of private operators is coming in its way to complete the audit of capital expenditure costs incurred by companies in developing oil and gas exploration blocks.

“A special audit was requested by the petroleum ministry and the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) in November 2007 for eight blocks including not just the KG D6 block of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) but also Panna Mukta and Tapti (where Reliance is one of the consortium partners with ONGC and British Gas),” said CAG deputy director AK Chirvi in his August 6 letter to Petroleum Ministry.

“We have been unable to get access to the records of private operators,” he said.

“This problem originally arose in case of audit of the PMT blocks.”

Saying that till this access is granted, “CAG’s audit of these eight blocks will remain incomplete”, the letter pinned the responsibility of getting “free and unfettered access” to all documents on the ministry.

On DGH’s recent statement that a CAG audit has recently been completed in case of D6 gas field (on the Rs 45,000 crore audit of cost by Reliance Industries Ltd), the letter said, “I am directed to state that any claim that such capital expenditure has been audited by CAG of India would not be true to facts.”