MOSCOW (MRC) -- The government has suspended ES Ranganathan, Director (Marketing) of GAIL (India) Ltd, after his arrest by the CBI over allegedly taking bribes to give discounts to private companies buying petrochemical products from the state-owned gas utility, according to NDTV.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on January 17 issued orders suspending Ranganathan from service, pending probe, official sources said.
Ranganathan, who was appointed Director (Marketing) of GAIL in July 2020, was to superannuate in May next year.
The CBI had on Friday evening started searches in connection with discounts that Ranganathan had allegedly promised to private companies in exchange for a bribe of 50 lakh. On Saturday, it searched Ranganathan's residence in Noida and his office at GAIL's headquarters at Bhikaji Cama Place. The office was sealed and Ranganathan was questioned.
While CBI had arrested some persons of the private companies on Saturday itself, Ranganathan was arrested on January 16 after obtaining requisite sanctions, sources said.
Subsequent to his suspension, the ministry on Tuesday issued an order giving "additional charge of director (marketing) to M.V. Iyer, Director (Business Development), GAIL for a period of three months from January 18, 2022 or till appointment of a regular incumbent to the post, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest." GAIL in a regulatory filing on Tuesday said it has complied with the ministry order and entrusted an additional charge of the post of Director (Marketing), GAIL to Iyer.
On Monday, the company had informed the stock exchanges that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against Ranganathan and other private persons on charges of criminal conspiracy, demand and obtaining undue advantage by public servant, taking undue advantage to influence public servant, bribing public servant etc.
As MRC reported earlier, GAIL (India) Ltd, India’s principal gas transmission and marketing company under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, is on track to start up its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility and polypropylene (PP) plant in Usar, Maharashtra by 2024. GAIL has recently chosen Lummus Technology’s CATOFIN process and Clariant’s tailor-made catalysts for India’s first PDH plant. Its upcoming 500 kiloton per annum PDH facility in Usar will be integrated with the downstream polypropylene (PP) unit. The cost of PDH-PP project is estimated at USD1.2 B.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
GAIL India Ltd is the country’s largest natural gas company, and one of seven Maharatna Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Government of India. Founded in 1984, the Delhi-based company operates in India and abroad in various segments such as transmission services, natural gas, petrochemicals, liquefied petroleum gas and other liquid hydrocarbons.