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EIL officials took 2,549 overseas trips in 3 years

PTI     December 18, 2017

New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI) Officers of Engineers India, a relatively smaller company among the state-owned firms under the oil ministry, have taken the most number of trips abroad in the last three years.

As many as 2,549 trips by engineering consultancy firms officers between April 2014 and March 2017 were double the trips officers of ONGC Videsh Ltd, a firm which has 39 projects in 18 countries and whose primary job is to scout for investment opportunities abroad, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said today.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Pradhan said officers of EIL undertook 920 trips overseas in 2014-15, 962 in 2015-16 and 667 in 2016-17. This compared with 381 trips by OVL officers in 2014-15, 430 in following year and 486 in 2016-17.

In fact, trips assigned to OVL were less than even its parent firm, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), whose officers made 630 trips overseas in 2014-15, 530 in 2015-16 and 596 in 2016-17.

"The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has asked the public sector companies under its administrative jurisdiction to furnish details of foreign trips undertaken by all officers of public sector undertakings (PSUs) during the last three years," he said.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) officers took 1,391 trips abroad while Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) executives were overseas on 542 occasions in the three years under review.

Officers of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) were the least travelled overseas, with just 259 trips in the three years.

While ONGC is the countrys highest profit-making company, IOC is the biggest company by revenue. EIL, whose main business is to provide consultancy services, is Navaratna firm.

In reply to a separate question, Pradhan said IOC - the nations biggest fuel retailer, was the biggest advertisement spender in last three years. It spend Rs 399.23 crore in three years to March 31, 2017. In the current fiscal, it has spent Rs 81.87 crore.

BPCL and HPCL - the other main fuel retailers in the country - spent Rs 146.14 crore and Rs 158.16 crore, respectively.

But their ad expenditure paled in front of Rs 210.34 spending by ONGC, which primarily is in the business of producing oil and gas and unlike fuel retailers is not required to spend on advertisements to capture customers.

During the current fiscal, ONGC has so far spent Rs 29.49 crore. This is lower than Rs 36.48 crore expenditure by BPCL and Rs 43.38 crore by HPCL.

Gas utility GAIL India Ltd spent Rs 141.84 crore on advertisements between 2014-15 and 2016-17 and another Rs 38.47 crore in the current fiscal. PTI ANZ MKJ


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