Delay in preparing audit report triggers apprehension among KIAL shareholders

Delay in preparing audit report triggers apprehension among KIAL shareholders
The Kannur International Airport Company (KIAL)

Kannur: Just a few days left are for the Kannur International Airport Company (KIAL) to complete its two years of operations but the company is yet to prepare its audit report.

The KIAL had entrusted the company's auditing with a private auditor Deloitte and Touche avoiding the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). The decision had triggered a major controversy with opposition parties accusing the government of hiding the accounts from the public.

The company's audited accounts were not placed before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in last December. At that time the shareholders were told that accounts are not being placed as the statutory audit was incomplete. They were further informed that a special AGM will be convened later for the purpose.

The company’s failure to publish its revenue and receipts despite completing nearly two years has created apprehensions among the shareholders.

As the joint venture company of the state government, centre, PSUs, the audit of KIAL was being conducted by the CAG right from the beginning. However, after the LDF Government came to power in 2016, the CAG was asked to pack up. With the auditing process getting intercepted regularly, the ministry of corporate affairs sent a notice to KIAL.

KIAL responded by approaching the high court with the prayer that it was a private company and hence should be exempted from CAG audit. The high court admitted KIAL’s petition and stayed CAG audit besides sending notices to the Central government.

The KIAL director board headed by the chief minister who is the chairman, has 16 members including five ministers, representatives of PSU’s like airport authority, BPCL, industrialists and independent directors. According to the annual report presented in 2018 the state government’s share in KIAL was shown as 38.94 per cent , BPCL 24.12 per cent, Airport Authority of India 7.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, KIAL MD V Thulasidas has said that the private auditor Deloitte and Touche was in the process of of preparing the audit report. He said the report would be placed before the AGM scheduled to be held in December.

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