Cairn chief Ashar oblivious to contractor anger

Vol 18, PW 9 (18 Dec 14) People & Policy

Cairn India chief Mayank 'Mike' Ashar, appointed November 17, is blissfully unaware of complaints from contractors fed up with dealing with Cairn's painful procurement system, worse than anything meted out by state-owned PSUs, themselves proven experts in torturing suppliers with inane procedure.

"Thanks for the heads up," Ashar told this report, on the sidelines of the World Energy Policy Summit in Delhi's ITC Maurya on December 11. "I'll look into it!" Contractors tell us of a catalogue of delays and pointless queries over payments for work at RJ-ON-90/1 in Rajasthan.

One drilling contractor says his monthly invoices are pending since August. "I meet Cairn often," he said.

"Each time I'm told to make corrections to the invoice and re-submit. This is going on for months." Another driller complains late payments from Cairn are hitting his cash-flow.

"I never had payment problems with Cairn before," he says. "Over the last three or four months it has become impossible." One Cairn director on its Executive Committee (ExCo), expressed surprise at contractor anger.

"This is news to me," he said. "It can't be true, there may be one or two stray cases but it could be the contractor's fault." Yet a source at Cairn's PSCM (Procurement and Supply Chain Management) wing admits payment delays but blames contractors who ignore procedure.

"Some of them mobilise rigs or services without written authorisation or the call out reference notice," he said. "That creates huge problems with the invoice."

LNG Summit