Oommen Chandy to challenge CAG report

Former chief minister decides to petition accountant-general.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former chief minister Oommen Chandy has decided to lodge a complaint with Accountant- General Amar Patnaik against the adverse report by the CAG on the Vizhinjam contract. Mr Chandy doubts that there was external interference in the damaging report. Mr Chandy said that when the report was being prepared, the previous UDF government's views were not considered. Also, the CAG was not willing to compare the contract with the one drafted during the tenure of the previous V.S. Achuthanandan government.

The CAG report repeats the criticism levelled in an article published two years ago in a leading magazine by Mr R. Thulasidharan Pillai, who was an external consultant for the audit of the Vizhinjam project assigned by the Accountant-General. Mr Chandy will highlight the concession period for the project being extended to 40 years instead of 30. The major criticism in the CAG report is that by doing so, the state will incur huge losses.

The International Finance Corporation, which was appointed by the state government in 2009 as consultant on the Vizhinjam transhipment container terminal, had recommended 30 years to finish the project. The CAG report also highlighted that the project contract was against the law. Once the project is completed, the Adani group would earn a profit of over Rs 80, 000 crore. He would explain that the central government was ready to provide a viability gap fund because there was a report that the project would incur losses. The extra concession period was provided to Adani taking this fact into consideration.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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