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CAG puts Nitin Gadkari’s Purti Group firm under scanner for financial irregularities

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Controller and Audit General (CAG) presented a report in Lok Sabha yesterday, charging Purti Sakhar Karkhana Limited (PSKL) of non-compliance of interest subsidy conditions.

The interest subsidy was granted to it by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the report named Union Minister Nitin Gadkari as one of the “promoters and/or directors” of the firm.

The report on ‘Financing of Renewable Energy Projects by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA)’ stated that the ministry had sanctioned Rs 1.92 crore as interest subsidy to the company and released Rs 1.37 crore to IREDA in June 2004, on the basis of net present value of PSKL.

The firm, according to the report, failed to meet the conditions of the interest subsidy extended to it. The project employed 100% coal based operations as against the upper limit of 25% allowed under subsidy schemes. The company also failed to meet the condition stipulating that the project should continue for at least ten years after completion. 

Moreover, CAG found that although the load had become a non performing asset in March 2007 the actual benefit from the subsidy amounting to Rs 1.66 crore was passed on till December 2009.

However the CAG report said that IRDEA management stated in April 2014 that PSKL had settled its account and paid the dues. IRDEA also claimed that it is not necessary if an account becomes a non performing asset, then interest subsidy is not to be passed.

“The reply of the management may be seen in the context that avoiding default on repayment by the borrower and limited deviation from renewable energy sources (up to 25 per cent) were important components of the scheme, and as such, IREDA cannot change/interpret specific conditions for grant of subsidy of GOI schemes. Further, the OTS proposal was sanctioned on the ground that the project was no longer an RE (renewable energy) project,” the CAG report stated.  

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Women Representation in Lok Sabha as Low as 12 Percent

None of the political parties could implement the promise and the number of women MPs was not even able to reach one-fourth members in the House.

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Since the beginning in 1952, there had been no female Speaker in the House until the 15th Lok Sabha. Pixabay

Slogans of various political parties about empowering Indian women in politics seem to have remained just lip service, if one goes by the statistics.

The case in point is that in the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha, there were only 66 women members out of the total House strength of 543, which makes it just 12 per cent.

This is the situation 67 years after the first general elections.

Had the long-pending legislative proposal to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha been passed, it could have ensured at least 179 female members in the Lower House of Parliament.

In the first Lok Sabha formed in 1952, there were 24 women. The number did not change in the second Lok Sabha formed in 1957.

The number increased when the third Lok Sabha (1962-67) was formed with 37 women, according to data available on the Lok Sabha website.

There was a decrease in the numbers in the fourth, fifth and sixth Lok Sabha where 33, 28 and 21 women were elected respectively.

The number again increased to 32 women in the seventh Lok Sabha (1980-84) and in the eighth (1984-89) with 45 women members being elected.

When the Lok Saha was elected in 1989 for the ninth time, the number of women dropped to 28.

Since then, there has been a minor but constant increase in the number of females.

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The number again increased to 32 women in the seventh Lok Sabha (1980-84) and in the eighth (1984-89) with 45 women members being elected. 
Pixabay

The 10th Lok Sabha (1991-96) had 42 female members and the 11th was one less.

The 12th had 44 female MPs, while the 13th and 14th saw equal numbers at 52 females of the total 543 members.

The 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14) saw a major increase: it touched 64 females — about 12 per cent of the total House strength.

The 16th – the outgoing – Lok Sabha had 66 female MPs, two more than the previous term.

Since the beginning in 1952, there had been no female Speaker in the House until the 15th Lok Sabha.

Congress’ Meira Kumar was elected unopposed as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha in 2009 and served till 2014. Then, Sumitra Mahajan of BJP became the second female to preside over the 16th Lok Sabha.

Congress on Friday promised to create one crore jobs across the southern state
The Congress made the pledge in its manifestos in 2019, 2014 and 2009. – wikimedia commons

The political parties have been promising 33 per cent reservation to females in legislatures a number of times.

Also Read: U.N. Agencies Running Out of Money for Essential Relief Activities, Yemen’s Children Continue To Suffer

The Congress made the pledge in its manifestos in 2019, 2014 and 2009. The BJP too made the promise in 2014 and now. The Communist Party of India-Marxist also promised the reservation in its manifestos in 1999, 2009 and 2019.

But none of the political parties could implement the promise and the number of women MPs was not even able to reach one-fourth members in the House. (IANS)