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Congress demands judicial probe into GSPC scam

Congress demands judicial probe into GSPC scam

A delegation of Gujarat Congress leaders today met President Pranab Mukherjee and sought a judicial probe into the alleged Rs 19,760 crore scam in Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation when Narendra Modi was chief minister of the state.

“Given that the political leadership has a clear conflict of interest in allowing the facts to be brought in the public domain, we urge you to kindly do justice to this matter of national importance by immediately directing an independent judicial investigation and uphold the rule of law,” Gujarat Congress leaders told the President in a memorandum.

The delegation included Political Secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, Gujarat PCC chief Bharatsinh Solanki and CLP leader Shankersinh Vaghela as also party MLAs from the state.

According to the memorandum, the alleged scam took place through “squandering of public money, deliberate bleeding of a public sector company, malicious enrichment of private parties and a blatant attempt to suppress truth by intentional mismanagement” in the affairs of the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPC).

Narrating the sequence of events, it said in June 2005, the then Gujarat Chief Minister announced that GSPC has discovered India’s largest gas reserves in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin.

He also claimed that the gas reserves were 20 trillion cubic feet and worth Rs 2,20,000 crore at that time.

“This was more than the total gas produced in all of India at that time. He announced that GSPC will spend Rs 1,500 crore and begin commercial production in 2007,” it said.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in its report for the year 2014-15, said that GSPC invested Rs 19,576 crore of public money in KG basin gas blocks upto March 2015, without any assessment of the risk involved, construction technology, estimate of natural gas reserves or gas pricing.

“Resultantly, till today, there is ‘no commercial production or resultant commercial gain’ of gas out of the announced gas yield of 20 trillion cubic feet.

“Apart from gross mismanagement, GSPC has awarded dubious contracts in an arbitrary manner, which smacks of criminal intention and warrants an independent investigation,” they told the President in the memorandum.