PSUs funded Sonia Gandhi-headed RGF when UPA was in power

New Delhi: UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi addresses during “Peoples’ Agenda- Jan Sarokar 2019” programme, in New Delhi on April 6, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Public sector undertakings (PSUs) like the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and State Bank of India (SBI) made donations almost every year to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) during the period when the Congress led UPA was in power from 2004 till 2014.

PSUs have not made donations to Sonia Gandhi-headed RGF since the NDA government came to power.

These four PSUs were the regular donors to the RGF during this period. There are other PSUs also which made donations of undisclosed amounts to it during this period.

With the recent controversy on the Union Budget allocation of Rs 100 crore to the RGF when Manmohan Singh was Finance Minister in 1991, questions may be raised on funding by PSUs for the foundation since it is also taxpayers money and these are government-owned companies. Questions may arise on government companies being regular donors for many years to a private foundation when a Congress-led government was in power at the Centre.

The UPA was formed in 2004 and led by Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister.

However, a perusal of the records shows that PSUs have not funded the RGF since 2014, when the NDA government came to power at the Centre.

As per the RGF annual report of 2005-06, the PSUs who were donors included GAIL, Oil India, ONGC, the Oriental Bank of Commerce, the SBI and SAIL.

In the next year, 2006-07, the PSU donors were GAIL, Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO), the Industrial Development Bank of India Ltd (IDBI), Oil India, ONGC, SAIL, the SBI and Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd.

In the year 2007-2008, RGF lists the PSU donors as the Bank of Maharashtra, GAIL, and ONGC.

In 2008-09, the donors were the Bank of Maharashtra, GAIL, ONGC, Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd, SBI and SAIL.

In 2009-2010, the repeat donors were the Bank of Maharashtra, ONGC and SAIL.

In 2010-2011, the donors were GAIL, ONGC, SBI and SAIL.

For the year 2011-12, the RGF lists donors as GAIL, HUDCO, National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd, ONGC, SBI, SAIL and UCO Bank.

For the year 2012-13, the donors were ONGC, SBI, GAIL, SAIL and UCO Bank.

The RGF annual report is for a two year period in 2013-15. The PSU donors were GAIL, ONGC, SBI and SAIL.

Thereafter, the annual reports of RGF do not list any PSU donors for the years 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. The last available report is of 2018-19. This period coincides with the tenure of the NDA government.

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