National Highways Authority of India

National Highways Authority of India

3 April 2012. The World Bank’s Institutional Integrity Unit has alleged fraudulent and corrupt practices by private Indian contractors working on national highway projects funded by it, and demanded a thorough investigation into the matter.

The World Bank report dated March 1, 2012 said that Contractors paid bribes and gifts, including gold coins, to the officials and consultants of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The finance ministry has asked the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to investigate and take appropriate actions.

The contractors in question are Progressive Construction Ltd (PCL) and PCL-MVR JV. Senior NHAI officials told The Indian Express that PCL has been engaged in highway projects across India for decades.

Interestingly, the names of the two contractors also figured in the list of “non-performers” tabled in Parliament by the road transport ministry last year and then later revoked.

The World Bank report lists the following malpractices in different packages of the three highway projects:submission of fake invoices to obtain advances and progress payments, advances diverted to other projects, use the payments to pay bribes to the officials.