Congress in Gujarat accuses GSPC of corruption

Vol 13, PW 15 (14 Jan 10) People & Policy
     

Gujarat’s ruling BJP has dismissed a series of damaging allegations that it is siphoning off funds from state-owned explorer GSPC.

Shaktisinh Gohil, Congress opposition leader in the Gujarat Assembly, levelled corruption charges on January 5 against Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s government saying it is involved in a “multi-million rupee scandalâ€‌ cloaked under the guise of oil and gas exploration. “These charges are utterly baseless, patently false, extremely childish and totally misleading,â€‌ Gujarat energy minister Saurabh Patel tells PETROWATCH.

“I don’t think this is worth reporting for a publication like yours.â€‌ Gohil’s allegations centre on loans totalling Rs4933.50cr taken by GSPC from a range of financial institutions, including IDFC and SBI Caps.

Gohil claims GSPC has spent most of this money on exploration but has not found oil and gas worth even 5% of its investments. “GSPC has become a tool of corruption in the hands of Modi and the BJP,â€‌ Gohil tells this report.

“They’re siphoning off millions of rupees in the name of exploration. I demand a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry; or at least an inquiry by a committee of elected representatives.

â€‌ Gohil is also demanding that the government appoint a committee to investigate GSPC’s alliance with Canadian explorer GeoGlobal Resources. “GSPC should have floated a tender,â€‌ claims Gohil claims.

“But it chose GeoGlobal without a tendering process.â€‌ State energy minister Patel rubbishes Gohil’s allegations.

“Does Gohil know how the oil and gas exploration industry functionsâ€‌ he asks. “Does he know what sort of money is involved and the gestation period involvedâ€‌ Patel continues: “GSPC’s exploration expenses are scrutinised by the DGH and other government agencies.

If he (Gohil) does not understand how exploration expenses are spent then he should shut up!â€‌