All members of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) have been asked to disclose their business interests in a bid to pre-empt conflict-of-interest charges as the panel deliberates on key PSUs,including those involved in infrastructure projects.
Panel chief Kishore Chandradeo has sent a circular to all MPs in the panel as per Rule 52 (A) of Directions by the Speaker. Under this,if a member of a committee has a personal,pecuniary or direct interest in any matter to be considered by the committee,he shall state his interest to the Speaker through the chairman.
This comes after objections are said to have been raised against three members: Congress MPs T Subbarami Reddy and L Rajagaopal and TDP MP Nama Nageshwar Rao.
Sources said Reddy,at a meeting of the panel last week,questioned National Highway Authority chairman Brahma Dutt about delayed projects and payments.
Reddys family owns construction giant Gayatri Infrastructure that has ongoing projects with NHAI and has pending payments.
Rajagopal,owner of Lanco Infratech,and Rao,who heads the Moducon group,have contracts with NHAI too.
When contacted,Reddy admitted that he had been asked for details as per Rule 52 (a) but said he did not violate any conflict-of-interest rules as he was not a director in Gayatri Infrastructure.
Since I am not director of any company having infrastructure projects,no member has the right to raise questions about my presence in the committee, he said.
Reddy said that in COPUs last meeting,he had merely raised a general question relating to land-acquisition delays in highway projects.
TDP MP Rao said he voluntarily wrote to Chandradeo last month that while his company Moducon did business with NHAI,he was only its non-executive director.
I told him that I will not attend any meeting of COPU if matters relating to Moducon and NHAI came up, Rao said.
Adding that he had opted for COPU to make a meaningful contribution, Rao said his company was among the first to take up NHAI projects in the country. Since then,I have been on various panels making recommendations on highway projects, he said. Rajagopal could not be contacted.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the civil engineering background of Congress MPs was taken into account while nominating them to COPU.
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