Indian Politician Claims ‘Huge Scam’ in Rosneft-Essar Deal

The vice-chairman of Indian state Andra Pradesh’s Planning Board C Kutumba Rao on Wednesday alleged a ‘huge scam’ in the deal struck between India’s Essar Oil and Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft, the Economic Times reported.

Claiming that apart from India, Russia and China were also involved in the scam, Kutumba Rao said that all the details along with evidence would be submitted to the Central Vigilance Commission and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a phased manner and the PMO would have to give a reply.

He alleged that by allowing the deal between Essar Oil and Rosneft, the Centre gave the Russian oil company a monopoly to sell oil in India.

Essar Global Fund Limited is an Indian conglomerate group and this debt-laden company sold its Essar Oil unit to Russia’s Rosneft, giving the energy giant a gateway into the world’s fastest-growing fuel market. In October 2016, Rosneft bought 49% stake in Essar Oil of India, along with Russian investment fund United Capital, in a deal worth around $13 billion. It was one of the largest inflow of foreign direct investments into India.

Under the Essar Oil deal, Rosneft and its partners had acquired India’s second-largest refinery, the largest network of private petrol pumps, a 1,000MW power plant and the Vadinar port and oil terminal.

Kutumba Rao claimed that no capital gains tax was paid in India on the transaction, part of which was executed here and the rest abroad. He also demanded that the government order a probe into the matter.