BJP helps small firms hit by Swiber meltdown

Vol 20, PW 23 (10 Aug 17) People & Policy
     

Small sub-contractors hit by bankrupt Swiber's inability to complete work at ONGC's Daman, PRP-IV and C-26 projects have found a friend in Mumbai-based BJP politician Suhas Mate, president of the Seafarers & Shipping Employees Union of India.

Mate is threatening that whoever ONGC hires as the principal contractor to complete Daman and PRP-IV can forget about support from these Indian subcontractors unless they are paid $63.7m owed for past work. On July 3, Mate wrote to SapuraKencana and Larsen & Toubro, competing bidders in the race to complete Swiber's unfinished work.

"We would like to inform you we have been fighting with ONGC on behalf of all the Indian vendors and contractors swindled by Swiber," reads the letter sent to SapuraKencana, seen by this report. Mate adds that as a prospective bidder Sapura will need Indian subcontractors as it did when completing the C-26 pipeline for ONGC earlier this year.

"We have now taken a conscious decision not to support Daman and PRP-IV until old bills are paid," he adds. "If you proceed with both projects it will be at your cost as we shall not extend support and cooperation from Indian vendors and contractors." Worried Sapura and L&T were disturbed enough by the threatening tone of Mate's letters to forward them to ONGC for an assurance it would safeguard their interests.

ONGC has so far not responded.

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