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NTPC kickback: Russian firm concealed Indian agent’s role

business Updated: Nov 29, 2009 20:19 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Rs 100-crore NTPC kickback scam, first reported by

Hindustan Times

on November 25, has further revealed that the Russian contractor, Technopromoexport (or TPE) “intentionally concealed” from NTPC an agreement entered into by it with an Indian agent for securing this contract.

CBI investigations reveal that TPE entered into an agreement with Ravina & Associates Pvt Ltd (RAPL) “for getting the contract for Barh project”.

This agreement, “was intentionally concealed by TPE, Russia from NTPC”.

The agreement, seized by the CBI during the house search of RAPL, is in possession of the Hindustan Times and was signed on October 25, 2004, five months before NTPC awarded the contract to TPE.

TPE transferred $21.57 million (Rs 100 crore) to RAPL’s account in the latter’s National Westminster Bank account at London in three instalments —$10,373,771.06 on May 5, 2005; $10,372,591.07 on May 19, 2005; and $825,481.77 on February 21, 2006 — according CBI.

The Rs 2,066 crore contract was for supplying steam generators for NTPC’s Barh Stage-I supercritical thermal power project (STPP, which is a more efficient plant) in Bihar.

CBI also found that the provisions of the bidding documents of the contract for Barh project required TPE to declare in its bid the details about its Indian agent and its remuneration. Further, the remuneration was to be paid “only in Indian rupees”.

However, TPE in its bid for securing NTPC’s contract declared that it had not engaged any Indian agent during the bidding stage or subsequently during the execution of the contract. “TPE Russia in its bid mentioned ‘NONE’ in the aid column (its contractual documentation with NTPC),” the CBI noted.

“TPE shall pay to the local representative (RAPL) the commission under the contracts concluded with the assistance of RAPL,” Article 5 of the agreement says.

If RAPL ensured the signing of contract, “TPE shall pay RAPL the commission at the rate of 5.5 per cent of the contract’s total price”.

“The agreement envisaged payment to RAPL on pro-rate basis in foreign currency in a foreign account and not as a fixed remuneration in Indian currency in India by telegraphic transfer, as was required (if so declared) in the bidding documents issued by NTPC to TPE, Russia,” CBI said.

Investigations further revealed that immediately after the contract was awarded by the power major on TPE and an advance payment of $53,633,554 (Rs 250 crore) was released by NTPC to TPE on March 31, 2005, the latter paid “illegal commission to RAPL in violation of the conditions of contracts with NTPC”.