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PMO upset with CBI enquiries into business deals, say sources

PMO upset with CBI enquiries into business deals, say sources

"Casual enquiries by the agency are affecting investor confidence," the PMO told the CBI.

New Delhi: There is an apparent tussle between the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as the former is upset over the unnecessary enquiries being conducted into business deals, sources informed on Thursday.

The PMO called the CBI Director to convey its disappointment over the same. "Casual enquiries by the agency are affecting investor confidence," the PMO told the CBI.

The PMO also cautioned the CBI over an ongoing investigation into the lease of Delhi international airport land to GMR at a nominal rate. The CBI is currently investigating the suspected roles of Airports Authority of India (AAI), Civil Aviation Ministry and Delhi International Airport in leasing 190 acres of land to GMR.

When asked for comments, GMR spokesperson said: "We are not aware of any such enquiry. On the contrary, both High Court as well as Supreme Court have upheld the award of IGI Airport to the GMR led consortium as early as in the year 2006." The alleged misappropriation was brought out in a report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for 2012-13 which said that DIAL paid an upfront fee of Rs 150 crore to the AAI on April 29, 2006 for which the supporting documents were not provided to the CAG.

AAI Board decided in a meeting on March 6, 2009, to lease out an additional 190.19 acres of land from the carved out assets to DIAL for aeronautical purpose as per the agreement of Operation Management and Development Agreement (OMDA).

The CAG alleged that "no negotiations in good faith as enjoined" by the OMDA took place and an upfront fee was used as base to calculate the price for the additional land provided by AAI to DIAL. This allowed AAI to lease out an additional 190.19 acres at a meagre amount of Rs 6.19 crore.

The Civil Aviation Ministry told the auditor in March 2012 that 190.19 acres of additional land leased out was purely aeronautical area and cannot be used for any construction or commercial purpose. However, the CAG questioned why a private operator should be levied a fee which is much lower than that fixed by government for its own departments.

Sources have said that the PMO is worried about the investment climate in the country because of the enquiries being conducted.