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    Apr 2011

    Default Lanco refutes allegation of Rs 13,000 crore scam

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    Lanco, the company accused by Delhi based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) of illegitimately cornering contracts worth Rs 13,000 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar mission, has objected to the allegations and said "they were not crosschecked with the company and were wrongly perceived".

    In a statement made to TOI, A Narasimhan, senior vice-president (corporate communications), said, "Lanco Group has equity participation in few of the companies that have won the National Solar Missionprojects in 2010." Narasimhan claimed that the equity participation was in within permissible level, and there was no illegality involved as reported by CSE.

    While the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRES) is the policy-making ministry, both bidding and regulation come under NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN), a subsidiary of the NTPC. Girish Pradhan, secretary for MNRES, told TOI that "The entire process is being done by NVVN, we only set the rules. Now that the information has come out we will investigate it in depth and no violation or deviation from norms will be tolerated."

    NVVN provided a statement to TOI that read, "Further there is no bar in the guidelines for a company to be EPC contractor in more than one Project. After signing the power purchase agreements, NVVN noted that controlling shareholding in some of companies appeared to have changed which was in violation of guidelines.

    After obtaining legal opinion on the issue, NVVN issued notice of default to such companies. Although companies stated that they had not violated the provisions of guidelines and it was a matter of interpretation. However in order to resolve the issue the concerned companies finally have rectified the default and the controlling share holding (equity+ preference share capital) of promoters at minimum of 51% is now with the companies with whom PPA have been signed."

    But NVVN refused to reveal the name of the companies that were found to have violated the bidding rules or where it had got the legal advice from.

    Lanco added, "The bidders who Lanco supported were able to bid at one of the lowest tariffs as Lanco provided them the latest technology and complete EPC solutions for the projects. As the power purchase agreement (PPA) for these projects are for a period of 25 years, Lanco's equity participation in these projects also brings confidence to the bidder to use our technology and EPC solutions in arriving at such a competitive tariff."



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