PwC in TransGrid project too with overpriced contract

Biju Paravath

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Thiruvananthapuram: It has come to light that PricewaterhouseCoopers, the London-based multinational firm, was appointed consultants for Kerala State Electricity Board’s TransGrid project funded by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). Also, the contract was awarded to PwC even after they quoted the expenses at Rs 453 crore, more than it was estimated by KSEB. The project appraisal was conducted by controversial private company Teranas.

The Opposition had earlier alleged corruption of crores in the TransGrid project. However, the involvement of PwC never came out. Opposition had alleged that rules of tendering were violated and work was awarded wherein there has been 60 to 80 per cent increase from the original cost. They had also said that pre-qualification guidelines were changed to favour certain companies.

The TransGrid project involves drawing fresh electric lines and setting up new sub-stations to strengthen the transmission and distribution system of electricity and bring down transmission losses in state.

It was on June 1, 2019 the financial estimate of the project was handed over to PwC. KSEB had estimated an expense of Rs 3280 crore for the project while PwC estimated it at Rs 3733 crore for the 52 projects in two parts.

It is reported that the PwC imposed a consultancy fees of upto Rs 12 lakh for each projects.

The consultancy contract was awarded to PwC by KSEB with the nod of Kerala Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Meanwhile, the committee under Chief Secretary looking into the appointment of gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh in IT department and former IT Secretary M Sivasankar interventions, found Sivasankar had helped PwC. It has recommended to drop PwC from projects under IT department.

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