Pinarayi Vijayan defends PwC contract after Opposition alleges corruption

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan defended the government’s contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the London-based multinational, to prepare the Detailed Project Report of the government's e-mobility project.

His statement was in response to Kerala Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, who had alleged corruption in the project.

Vijayan said that due protocol had been followed and that the company had been empaneled by the central government.

“PwC was empaneled by the National Informatics Services Center Incorporated (NICSI). According to an order in August 2019, the government has appointed three companies empaneled by the NICSI for business portals, logistics portals and e-mobility services. PwC is a company that does consultancy services for the Union Home Ministry and the Defence Ministry,” Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister said that there was nothing unusual in the deal and that the decision had been taken after clearance by the Transport, Finance and Planning Departments.

“We will not step back from the project over baseless allegations,” said Vijayan, adding that the state government will go ahead with the e-mobility project. By 2021, 10 lakh electric vehicles would be launched, he said.

On Sunday, at a press meet, Chennithala alleged corruption in the Rs 4,500-crore e-mobility project by the state government. He claimed that the company had been banned in the country for two years by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

The audit ban of PwC, however, had been overturned by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) in September last year.

 

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