The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has put on hold final approvals for the MA field and work programme budget for Reliance Industries’ KG D6 block Reliance Industries.

In a letter to the Petroleum Ministry, the DGH, R. N. Choubey has stated that the managing committee (MC) resolution regarding approval of revised Field Development Plan (FDP) of MA field and review/approval of work programme budget in the KG-DWN-98/3 block was forwarded to the Petroleum Ministry for approval on December 18 last year for further action. The resolutions were duly signed by the contractors and then by the DGH and Joint Secretary (Exploration). The resolutions were sent “on file” to Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor (ASFA), Subhash Khuntia on January 17 for his approval.

However, Mr. Khuntia declined to approve the resolutions on file stating that resolutions were to be signed by the authorised signatories and that same did not require approval of the special invitee. “It needs to be noted that this office (DGH) requested AS&FA to approve only the note file, in view of the fact that the government had nominated him as a special invitee on account of large financial implications in this block, and because he had personally attended the said MC meeting and was a party to various decisions. If the AS&FA neither approves on file the MC resolutions nor suggests any modifications, then the process of security internal approvals within the Ministry for MCD resolution comes to a standstill,” the DGH has stated.

Similarly, the DGH stated that it had received a letter from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which pointed out that the audit exercise has come to a stop pending resolution of certain issues. “CAG has requested Petroleum Ministry to urgently resolve the matter. This development is contrary to the understanding that every issue pertaining to the CAG audit of KG D6 had been resolved. Under the circumstances, the Petroleum Ministry is requested to decide the further course of action regarding these MC resolutions in view of the fact that AS&FA has declined to approve the resolutions on file, and in view of the fact that audit by CAG has come to a standstill pending resolution of certain issue,” the DGH concludes. A detailed email to RIL seeking its comments on the development remained unanswered till ate this evening.

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