A public sector company does not honour a contract. The regulator looks away. And the government loses Rs 1,500 crore.
In a recent audit report submitted to the Ministry of Petrol-eum, the Comptroller and Aud-itor General (CAG) has slammed GAIL (India) for these losses. It has also blamed petroleum regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) for failing to enforce the gas price contract between the government and developers of the Panna-Mukta-Tapti (PMT) gas fields.
The government earns revenues from oil and gas fields as profit petroleum (share of profit from gas production), statutory levies and income tax.
CAG held GAIL — the government’s nominee to buy the gas from PMT — responsible for revenue losses. “Non-honouring of contract price by GAIL… resulted in loss to the government,” said the March 9 preliminary audit report, a copy of which is with HT. “DGH failed in its duty of monitoring the operation of PMT joint venture.”
“I am yet to receive the report,” Director General, DGH, S.K. Srivastava told HT.
“GAIL did everything under the directions of the government,” said B.C. Tripathi, GAIL Chairman and MD.
These are the first of three investigations after the government asked CAG to scrutinise the books of private developers of India’s major gas fields.