DP World refuses audit of Vallarpadam box terminal

DP World refuses audit of Vallarpadam box terminal

Kochi: Global ports operator DP World has turned down the Indian government’s demand to carry out a performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) at the former’s International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam in Kochi.

The Dubai-based company has clarified that it is not liable to be audited by the CAG, as such a provision had not been included in the licence agreement signed by it six years ago. Since the company does not come under the purview of audit, CAG has no jurisdiction to carry out such an audit, DP World said.

The operator’s concurrence is mandatory in such cases since the terminal project has been executed in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. However, a senior port official said that the Cochin Port Trust (CoPT) was examining an earlier case where there existed a Supreme Court verdict allowing CAG to audit a PPP project.

The under-performance of ICTT, at 35% of its installed capacity since its commissioning in 2011, has prompted the government to take up the matter of auditing its performance. There have also been demands from various quarters to terminate the licence agreement with the terminal operator.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.

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