GAIL backs Avinash Em despite internal ban

Vol 17, PW 11 (16 Jan 14) Midstream & Downstream

GAIL’s project team is reluctant to ban Delhi-based pipeline contractor Avinash Em Projects from future tenders despite an internal recommendation.

Avinash stands accused by GAIL’s tender committee of faking accounts to win a contract to lay two spur lines for the 192-km Vijaipur to Bhilwara pipeline. But GAIL director projects RD Goyal defends Avinash, despite receiving a recommendation from the tender committee on December 31 to ban it for three years - the fourth recommendation of its kind.

“They (Avinash) have not committed any crime,” retorts Goyal, contacted by this report. “Only some papers are missing, the company is working fine, their case will be decided on merit.

” Goyal, it seems, returned the file to the tender committee last November asking for leniency. “Goyal is trying to buy time so Avinash can complete work and get paid,” says a source.

In its initial report prepared in October GAIL’s tender committee alleges Avinash lied by showing working capital of Rs7cr ($1m) for 2010 to meet a tender requirement of Rs4.8cr ($779,000) working capital. "Avinash’s actual working capital was only Rs3cr ($487,000),” alleges a GAIL source.

“For five consecutive years since 2006 Avinash has shown fake balance-sheets.” Avinash was first accused in July 2013 by GAIL's auditor after checking its balance-sheet with the Registrar of Companies.

Further investigation revealed that Avinash had also forged the signatures of chartered accountant Vishal Aggrawal.