Kerala awards e-mobility project consultancy to PwC, Opposition claims corruption

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Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: June 29, 2020 2:17:09 am

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The Congress-led Opposition in Kerala has accused the LDF government of corruption over granting the state e-mobility project’s consultancy to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The project envisages one million electric vehicles on the streets of Kerala by 2022.

Addressing the media Sunday, Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, said the government has granted the consultancy to PwC in violation of norms. He said the decision to award the consultancy was taken at a meeting chaired by CM Pinarayi Vijayan on August 17, 2019. “The controversial decision was taken by Vijayan directly, without discussing the matter in the state cabinet or with departments concerned. Even tenders were not issued for hiring this firm, which is a gross violation of norms and hence illegal.”

“The question is what motivates the chief minister to have confidence in a multinational company, which has been facing several serious allegations in India. The CM should explain his links with this controversial firm,” he said. Chennithala said SEBI banned PwC from operating in India for two years in 2018. In 2019, the Supreme Court quashed the two-year debarment. He alleged that the LDF government’s modus operandi is to announce mega projects that won’t materialise and pocket the money by giving consultancy for such projects.

Transport Minister A K Saseendran said he would respond to the allegations after going through the files. “The e-mobility policy was ratified by the government, which would have taken certain decisions as part of that policy.”

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