Questioning clearance by junior Oil Ministry officials to the near four-fold hike in costs to Rs 45,000 crore for gas fields by Mukesh Ambani-led RIL, Anil Ambani demanded a probe into the "huge scandal."
"I am deeply concerned that RIL's capital expenditure of nearly Rs 45,000 crore on KG-D6 fields as confirmed in Parliament by the Petroleum Minister and which is nearly 33 per cent of India's total defence budget was cleared by a management committee..." he said in an e-mailed interview.
"The committee comprised of one junior level official each from the Petroleum Ministry and Director General of Hydrocarbon and two representatives of the contractor (RIL)...talk about conflict of interest," he said, adding that any expenditure above Rs 150 crore by any arm of government goes to the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs for approval.
Given the incredibly high stakes involved, the Comptroller and Auditor General and Central Vigilance Commission should examine relevant facts and find out if capex was overstated, Anil said, pointing that budgeted expenditure of RIL for peak production of 40 mmscmd was only Rs 12,000 crore in 2004.
Anil alleged that Petroleum Ministry, particularly after the changes in 2006 (when Murli Deora took over as minister), was colluding with RIL in its quest to make "super-normal profits of Rs 50,000 crore" at the cost of power and fertiliser sectors.