Kerala CM denies foul play in PwC appointment

 Rejects charge that agency is under Sebi ban 

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday (June 29) tried to steer clear of the cloud shrouding the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the consultant for the ambitious E-Mobility project.

CM rejected with disdain the charges levelled by the Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala recently that there is vested interest behind the appointment of PwC as the consultant for the preparation of DPR for the E-Mobility project that could involve thousands of crores of rupees .

The Kerala CM explained that PwC was appointed after due examinations by all the departments concerned in the project. To a question on whether proper tender formalities were followed in the selection of PwC, though the response was a bit ambiguous, the CM answered in the affirmative.

Stating that PwC is an agency approved by even the Central Government, the CM insisted that PwC has not been banned by the market regulator Sebi as alleged by the Opposition leader.

[The fact is that PwC has been banned by Sebi in 2018 from audit jobs for two years , not from taking up consultancy]

On the contrary, the CM explained that the same agency’s services have been hired by the Punjab Government for its Ludhiana Smart City project and Puthussery Government for its Smart City project. Maharashtra government has shortlistd PwC for its E-Governance project.

The CM said hiring the service of such international agencies has been followed by most past state governments, adding that even the former UDF governments under respective chief ministers AK Anthony and Oommen Chandy, both Chennithala’s leaders, had on several occasions used the services of agencies such as Ernst & Young and KPMG for fabled projects like Kochi-Muziris Biennale project, Global Investors Meet (GIM) and Air Kerala project during their respective tenure.




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