On a day the BJP released its manifesto for the Gujarat assembly polls on Dec 13 and 17, the Congress on Monday smelt a rat in a gas exploration project in the Krishna-Godavari basin and said Chief Minister Narendra Modi should clarify.
"We are merely raising some questions that arise out of a story published in Tehelka magazine. The people of Gujarat want the state government or the chief minister to clarify," Information and broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters.
Quoting from the Tehelka story, Tewari said the state government had paid 10 percent equity in the fund created for the gas exploration project to a Barbados-based company called Geo Global, which is owned by Jean Paul Roy, and had a paid capital of just $64.
"Given the estimate that the gas in that particular basin was estimated to be worth $20 billion, around Rs.2,000 crore were paid to Jean Paul Roy for bringing technical expertise to the project," said Tewari quoting the story.
He said the state government had to bring in another company, Petro Tech, for technical expertise and paid it Rs8.6 crore.
"Who is this gentleman and why did the state government favour him for doing nothing? Did the tax payers of Gujarat pay money to him," Tewari asked.
He said the party was flagging the issue as it was related to a natural resource.
Tewari also alleged that around five percent equity in the project was transferred to a Mauritius-based company.