CAG observations extremely serious, says CMtext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Wednesday told the state assembly that the CAG report on alleged lapses by the previous government in award of the Rs 7,525 crore Vizhinjam International Seaport project to Adani group was "extremely serious."
"The report needs to be examined seriously," Vijayan told the state assembly during the question hour.
Further steps have to be taken with regard to the CAG report, he added.
The CAG had observed that Keralas interests were not protected in the agreement with the Adani Groups and SEZ Private Ltd for the development of Vizhinjam International Seaport. Responding to Vijayans statement, Congress leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, in whose period the agreement was signed, said "I do not have any guilty conscience."
Defending the decision, Chandy said "In fact I am proud that I was able to do something good for the state and everything is transparent."
"As far Vizhinjam port is concerned, I am responsible for everything. I will not make any official a scapegoat," he said, welcoming any examination on the CAG observation that the states interests were not protected. He made it clear that there were no wrongdoings and states interests were at the forefront during inking of the agreement.
Chandy said the CAG might have overlooked some facts while finalising the report. "CAG comparing the Vizhinjam port with Colachel port, which is just in the conceptual stage, is also not correct," he said.
On the CAG finding that the state government erred in extending the concession period for the project from 30 years to 40 years, Chandy said the decision was based on the Model Concession Agreement for state ports issued by the Planning Commission.
Chandy also expressed hope that the CAG report would not come in the way of implementing the project, coming up at nearby Vizhinjam.
CAG in its report on public sector undertakings for the year ended March 2016, tabled in the state assembly yesterday, had pointed out lapses on part of the state government while signing the agreement for implementing the multi-purpose seaport project.
The agreement was signed by the previous Congress-led UDF government and the work formally launched in December 2015.