Even as the CBI has launched an inquiry into the alleged pay-off of USD one million made to a former bureaucrat and his son by Yara for securing a joint venture with Kribhco, the Fertilizer Ministry has sought the help of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to seek the probe report from the Norwegian Government on the issue.

The Government has also asked Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd (Kribhco) to furnish a report in this matter as the incident took place in 2006-07 when this bureaucrat was part of this organisation.

“The Department of Fertiliser has taken up the matter with Ministry of External Affairs to obtain a copy of the report/findings from the Norwegian authorities through Indian Mission in Norway. The Department has sought comments of fertiliser co-operative Kribhco in this matter at the earliest. The matter will be further examined on receipt of report from MEA and comments from Kribhco,” Fertilizer Minister, Srikant Jena informed the Lok Sabha in reply to a question.

Mr. Jena said the Ministry had received newspaper reports regarding fertilizer scam involving a former officer of the department, Kribhco and Norwegian fertiliser company Yara International. Further, he said, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had also forwarded a report in this regard to the Ministry.

The Hindu first reported this matter on January 17 relating to 2006-07 when Yara International was negotiating with Kribhco for setting up a joint venture project. In January this year, Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime imposed a hefty fine of about $48 million on Yara for bribing a senior Indian government official and entities in Libya and Russia.

Then, Norwegian police indicted three former senior management executives of Yara International for paying bribe to a senior Indian bureaucrat in the Fertiliser Ministry. Yara International had appointed the law firm Wiersholm to conduct external investigation in this matter in April 2011. The company released the main findings of investigation in June 2012 which said that an unacceptable payment of $1 million in 2007 to a consultant in India is documented, related to negotiations with Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd (Kribhco). The CBI has already launched a formal probe into the whole scam.

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