Prabhat Singh's conflict of interest at P-LNG

Vol 21, PW 19 (28 Jun 18) People & Policy

Petronet-LNG managing director Prabhat Singh is facing 'conflict of interest' questions over the award of a film-making contract to a Mumbai-based company which employs his two daughters.

Petronet-LNG president (projects) Rajeev Agrawal wrote directly to prime minister Narendra Modi on June 1 accusing Singh of corruption, misconduct, and most serious of all, violating the Companies Act, 2013. Under scrutiny is Petronet-LNG's decision to hire Mumbai-based company Custom Made Films to prepare a $24,000 promotional video showcasing the Dahej LNG terminal.

Lasting 10 minutes and 21 seconds, the clip was posted online on September 22, 2017. Agrawal alleges that Singh "misused/abused" his position by ordering Dahej terminal chief SB Singh and company HR head AK Chopra to hire Custom Made Films without tender at the "exorbitant" rate of Rs14,43,748 ($24,062) paid through invoice number CM1086 dated August 11, 2016 for Rs721,875 ($12,031) and invoices CM 1118 and 1119 dated September 12, 2017, amounting to Rs721,873 ($12,031).

Agrawal also alleges that Singh's daughters Roli Purnima Singh and Dakshita Singh both work for Custom Made Films - a charge corroborated by the company's online profile where both figure prominently. "The award of a contract to Custom Made Films where Prabhat Singh's daughters are working falls under Section 188 of the Related Party Transaction of the Companies Act, 2013," writes Agrawal, "(and constitutes a) very serious corruption, conflict of interest and unethical business practice."

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