Just a couple of days after the Cabinet announced the handing over of three secretaries; the social media went into a tizzy over a leaked letter allegedly written by MoEA Minister Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk to the Prime Minister on 24th October 2014 over the Enertia issue.
The letter showed Enertia in unfavorable light and also mentioned that it was understood that the Cabinet Secretary had already briefed Lyonchhen and the matter is being taken up with the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Though the letter did not have the signature of the minister, had no letter number and even no letter head it was shared widely and lead to at least online accusations and rumors that the MoEA Minister and the Prime Minister were in the know of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) meetings including the intent to write to the Indian government.
However, a press release from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has now disproved this theory.
According to the release the letter was written by the secretary of Ministry of Economic Affairs and was e-mailed to the MoEA Minister under whose signature it was supposed to be submitted to the Prime Minister. Hence the content and language of the letter are that of the Secretary.
The release said that in a subsequently meeting between the Minister and the Secretary, two issues were highlighted by the secretary. One concerned the allegations made by KB Wakhley against the Secretary. The other concerned the allegations of corruption made by ENERTIA against BHEL, BVT, former government and the Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The Secretary had suggested during the meeting that on KB Wakhley’s allegation the matter should be brought up to the RCSC. On Enertia’s allegations the matter should be brought up to the government of India for their intervention.
The release says that since K.B Wakhley was a Bhutanese citizen and the matter was internal, the Minister advised that the RCSC could be consulted for their intervention.
However, with regard to the allegations of Enertia and the need to seek GOI’s intervention, the Secretary was instructed to keep the matter ‘on hold’ because it involved a foreign entity and the facts of the allegations were not established as either true or false. The Minister informed the Secretary that it was likely that more information on BHEL allegation would emerge.
It says that having made the above decisions the Minister did not find it necessary to attend to the letter of October 24. It was not even closely read, and certainly not signed and submitted to the Prime Minister.
The release then says, “It is regrettable to learn that in contradiction to the specific instructions of the Minister, the matter was taken up and discussed in four sittings of the Committee of Secretaries and eventually a letter of protest to the GOI was sent on December 2, 2014. Neither was the government’s endorsement on the letter sought, nor was the matter informed to any ministers.”
The MoEA Secretary when contacted declined to comment or come on record on the issue saying that the matter was before the RCSC.