Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Rs.240 Million Hydro Commissions

Quite a number of people are highlighting this case. The news is based on  an  Indian journal called Enertia story on BHEL which was copied by The Bhutanese a weekly newspaper in Bhutan. Again according to The Bhutanese, the Bhutanese Government has now decided to look into these allegations.

The case is becoming quite an intrigue because it is already alleged that the firm that got the commission in Bhutan belongs to a Supporter of the present Opposition Party. I suppose the ruling Party would be keen  to nail few opposing politicians. Till  now I have followed the case in the Facebook but could not really fully bank on the source. I have no idea of this Enertia journal. However if the Government has told The Bhutanese that it would investigate the case then the Government must have had its own source of verification.

What I know of Indo- Bhutan dealing is that in almost all bilateral agreements including hydro projects, it is India that decides and Bhutan consents. If a Bhutanese party had been paid by BHEL then Parties in India have to be paid. Why nothing has been mentioned by Enertia or The Bhutanese about commissions paid in India?

If at all  a Bhutanese party had  been paid commission to secure supply contract on monopoly basis for BHEL then the Indian side would have to have been taken care of much before and logically the commission has to be more than 3 times because the entire funding of hydro project comes from India both in the form of loan and grant. India holds both the purse string and the ultimate authority.

Up till the RGOB decision, this accusation in the media against the Bhutanese firm may  have been just bad press or vindictive rumour.  Now it has moved away from speculations to hard reality with every  word and action accountable. According to The Bhutanese, the Government would be using or rather requesting ACC and RAA to implement its decision. It would be interesting to see how the Government of Bhutan paves the Indo-Bhutan bilateral berth necessary for the two Agencies to operate or manage their tasks.

Somehow I feel that it will be a case of lot of thunder and no rain. But one can never be sure where anything leads anywhere in this political environment. There will be kickbacks and commissions in most projects and the amounts will increase with the size of the projects. But proving what, who and how takes more than a single letter in possession of Enertia which  could also change sides. Truth if it can be dug up would provide relief to the innocents and catch the real culprits.

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