State suffers loss of Rs 159.96 cr in port projects: CAG

Bhubaneswar: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has pointed out that the state lost Rs 159.96 crore because of lacunae in resources and revenue sharing arrangement of port projects in PPP mode.
"The government suffered a loss of Rs 159.96 crore due to deficiencies in Concession Agreements (CA) with different port developers. The projects were largely awarded through MoU route instead of competitive bidding," the CAG said in its report on general and social sector for the year 2011-2012.
The report tabled in the State Assembly on Saturday, said the CAG's performance audit noticed several deficiencies in policy formulation, implementation, institutional arrangements, design and enforcement of CA and revenue model in port projects in the state.
The audit was carried in five minor port projects – Astarang, Chudamani, Dhamra, Gopalpur and Subarnarekha.
"Though four out of the five port projects with project cost of each exceeding Rs 500 crore were taken up and CA were executed, approval of High Level Clearance Authority was not obtained, that too when private promoters were selected in three cases through MoU route," the report said.
The report, however, said that out of five port projects, in only one case (Gopalpur) private promoters was selected on competitive bidding route. The port policy permits adoption of International Competitive bidding route or MoU route for selection of private developers, it said.
"In case of Gopalpur port, a developer with no experience in infrastructure sector was selected and revenue sharing was accepted at 0 to 7.5 per cent which was below the reserve percentage of 5 to 8 per cent," the report said.
The CAG also noted that there was delay in completion of projects due to delay in getting environmental clearance.
In case of Dhamra port, the commencement date was fixed after 13 months of the due date on the ground of delay in handing over the acquired land, it said.