Corporate espionage in Shastri Bhavan is a well-oiled machine with monthly retainers marked to those who pass on government documents to business houses so that they have a leg up on their competition.
According to government officials, the petroleum and coal ministry in Shastri Bhavan is the focus of corporate espionage given the high stakes involved in each contract running into hundred of crores of rupees. The modus operandi used by those involved is novel and has evolved to something more than simply copying a document and passing it on to corporate clients.
“Techniques like scanning the document into a file and then storing it as an unsent email is normal. The corporate consumer, after paying for the file, is given the login and password of the account from where the documents can be accessed from the unsent email cache,” said a senior official.
“A large number of so called energy consultants are basically suppliers of vital cabinet notes, proposals, minutes of meetings and inter-ministerial agenda papers to the corporates. It is the corporates who later use these documents to fight wars with their rivals by passing it on to the favourite media persons,” the official added.
The buzz is that there is hardly any document in the infrastructure and economic ministries that is not available to corporates from officials, who virtually copy everything as long as it fetches a price.