350-crore bribe for power deal rocks Maharashtra

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Mumbai: Almost a decade after Enron rocked Maha-rashtra, another power scandal is threatening to break out. Investigative agencies in the United States have sent India the names of nine officials from the state-run MAHAGENCO, who last year received Rs. 350 crore in kick-backs from California-based CCI Inc., for a contract for equipment worth Rs. 25,000 crore.

Maharashtra Chief Secretary J.P. Dange has been summoned by the Department of Personnel & Training in the Prime Minister’s Office on June 11. 

In early 2009, MAHAGENCO had floated a tender for power-generation equipment worth Rs. 25,000 crore to modernize existing equipment in thermal power plants across the state. Along with some Indian players (including a PSU), a bid was received from CCI Inc., ho eventually got the contract despite not having quoted the lowest price.

While the dissenting voices  in India soon quietened down, the equipment never arrived because CCI Inc., declared bankruptcy later the same year, and was forced to shut down amidst a big scandal in the US. Investigating agencies started combing through their transactions, and soon documents were found showing kickbacks having been paid to MAHAGENCO officials in Mumbai.

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