The face-off between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) seems to have touched a new peak with a seven-member team from the autonomous audit body unsuccessfully trying to access the country`s one of the largest conglomerates` books at its Mumbai office for about three weeks, sources in the petroleum ministry told Headlines Today.
According to sources, the team of auditors has been adamant on going through the sudden 290 per cent jump in costs incurred over the RIL`s KG D6 project for natural gas extraction . However, Reliance has also been sticking to its guns saying the CAG`s mandate only goes as far as conducting a financial audit.
While the Mukesh Ambani-led RIL has been insisting that this was specified in its agreement with the petroleum ministry and that the CAG had no right to breach it, the audit body claimed that it was being thwarted from carrying out a full examination of the company`s books.
Sources in the petroleum ministry told Headlines Today that for the last three weeks the seven-member audit team has been twiddling its thumbs at RIL`s Navi Mumbai head office. However, all they have been provided by RIL so far are the audited accounts which are already available in public domain.
CAG is particularly interested in the huge cost escalation in the KG D6 project over a period of just two years. RIL, in turn, has been challenging the scope of audit.
Documents available with Headlines Today show that RIL has raised fresh objections about the nature and objectives of the statutory audit. In a letter dated January 16, addressed to CAG and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, RIL has sought certain confirmations from the government.