Government trying to hide GSPC scam, alleges Congress

New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) The Congress on Tuesday questioned Narendra Modi government’s decision to ask ONGC to purchase Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation’s (GSPC) gas block, saying the government ignored CAG reports on GSPC scam to save it.

“Modiji (then Gujarat Chief Minister) proudly claimed in 2005 that the GSPC has found 20 tcf gas in KG Basin. After 11 years, they have found only 1 tcf gas,” alleged senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

Using this claim, Modi made GSPC borrow Rs 20,000 crore from 15 public sector banks, Ramesh claimed.

The Congress leader further said that contracts were given to Adani’s companies — underwear manufacturing companies — for drilling, but nothing came of them.

“The value of this gas block is Rs 3,000 crore. The GSPC has to repay Rs 20,000 crore. As the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) net worth is Rs 1.5 lakh crore, the GSPC scam will now lie buried in the books of ONGC.

“This is being done to save the GSPC and hide the scam. That’s why ONGC is being forced to purchase GSPC gas block,” he added.

The Congress, Ramesh said, has some questions for the government, including – Who decided that GSPC will be purchased by ONGC? Was it the ONGC board? On what basis was this decision taken? What does ONGC stand to gain from this purchase? What is the response to and action on the CAG’s report on GSPC?

“If we followed the correct norms set by previous RBI Governor (Raghuram Rajan), the GSPC would have been declared a non-performing asset,” said Ramesh.

“But, will this happen? Will it be declared a non-performing asset,” he wondered.