PAC takes up CAG reports on KG basin and Air India for examination

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today decided to examine the reports of the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India on KG basin and the performance of Air India.

A meeting of the committee chaired by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today decided to start examining the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) performance audits of the 'Hydrocarbon Production Sharing Contracts' and 'Civil Aviation in India'. The PAC is yet to draw a schedule for examination of the two reports.
The two reports were tabled in Parliament on 8 September, the last day of the monsoon session that lasted six weeks.

Reliance and the oil ministry had come in for sharp criticism for violation of contract terms over the showpiece KG-D6 gas block. The auditor also called for revamping the current profit- sharing arrangement that reduced government revenues.

However, the audit report stopped short of putting a figure to the loss suffered by the government with Reliance hiking capital expenditure at the nation's biggest gas field from $2.4 billion proposed in 2004 to $8.8 billion in 2006.

The CAG had also severely criticised the civil aviation ministry over its decision on acquisition of 111 planes for Air India through debt. It called the step "a recipe for disaster" and also criticised the merger of the two erstwhile state-run carriers.

The CAG called the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines as "ill-timed" saying the exercise was undertaken "strangely from the top (rather than by the perceived needs of both these airlines), with inadequate validation of the financial benefits".