CSE PRESS STATEMENT: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) responds to the weak and unsubstantiated defence put forward by LANCO and NTPC Vidyut Vypar Nigam Limited to its investigation on the solar scam

New Delhi, February 2, 2012

Blasts LANCO’s duplicity and NVVN’s non-transparent attitude

LANCO Infratech has issued a statement that it has “serious objections” to CSE’s allegations on how it has illegally cornered large parts of the projects under the National Solar Energy Mission.

Interestingly, LANCO has not denied the allegations. It has also accepted that it has 'supported' the bidders, and that it has “equity participation within the permissible level”. However, the fact that is missed is that CSE’s investigation has blown the cover on the nature of this “support”.

The support of LANCO to the seven companies goes beyond ‘equity’ participation. In fact, LANCO, through its employees and their children, has gained controlling interest in these companies. CSE’s investigations reveal that LANCO controls 99 per cent of the seven companies through compulsorily convertible preference shares -- in two companies, it actually controls all the shares through their employees or their relatives.

According to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE), the controlling shareholding of the company that has won the bid should not change for one year after commissioning of the project. But CSE’s fact-finding clearly shows that the companies have changed hands and are now fully (99 per cent) controlled by LANCO. This is a clear violation of the guidelines.

CSE is even more appalled with the response of NTPC Vidyut Vypar Nigam Limited (NVVN). NVVN was non-transparent and still remains non-transparent. Its response shows that it is preparing to do a major cover-up of the scam.

It has still not put any information about these companies in the public domain. It is indeed strange that even basic information like the addresses of companies that have been awarded projects, has not been made available. It is clear that the addresses remain unavailable because these companies either do not exist or have ceased to exist. This is also what was found by CSE researchers when they visited registered offices of the companies.

We demand that NVVM and the ministry (MNRE) put all information including who controls these companies, in public domain.

At the same time, we welcome the statement made by the Ministry of new and renewable energy to investigate this matter further. We hope this will really lead to a clean energy source with clean companies.

• For the report of the CSE investigation (carried by Down To Earth), our press release, and other related information, please visit www.cseindia.org
• For any more details, contact Souparno Banerjee at souparno@cseindia.org / 9910864339.


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