Odisha junket for 31 happy MPs

Vol 19, PW 9 (14 Jan 16) News in Brief

As official junkets go this one must have cost the Indian taxpayer a small fortune.

Between January 7-12, fresh from their winter holidays, 31 grateful MPs from the Indian parliament’s Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Gas enjoyed a whistle stop tour of Gujarat, Mumbai, Odisha and Kerala on PSU expense. Led by Pralhad Joshi, an MP from Karnataka, and including former oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, the MPs spent the bulk of the six-day visit, as you’d expect, in Orissa, home state of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, where they “reviewed” the national gas hydrate programme.

From Rajkot in Gujarat on January 7, the MPs travelled to Mumbai on January 9 and on the same day flew to Bhubaneshwar where they stayed till January 12 before flying to Kochi for an on-the-spot assessment of Petronet-LNG’s moribund LNG terminal. Other topics of discussion during the aptly named ‘study tour’ included adulteration and theft of transport fuel, underground coal gasification and the national gas grid .