Written reply to a question raised by N.K. Premachandran in the House
The Centre had informed the State Government as early as October 2019 that the Consulate General of India (CGI) in New York could not verify the credentials of the US-based company that had proposed an MoU for deep-sea fishing, Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan told the Lok Sabha during question hour on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a question raised by N.K. Premachandran in the House, he said the Ministry of External Affairs had directed the CGI in New York to verify the address and credentials of M/s EMCC Global Consortium LLC following a request from the State Government. The CGI sought the details through a communication to the company on October 14, 2019.
However, in the absence of a response from the company, the address and credentials of the company could not be verified. The Minister said the company’s address at 535 Fifth Avenue, 4th floor was a virtual office which allowed for short-term rental and other secretarial services.
The findings of the enquiry on credentials of the company were conveyed by email to the Government of Kerala by the CGI in New York on October 21, 2019 and by the Ministry of External Affairs on October 25, 2019.
Subsequently, on a separate follow-up, CGI New York had conveyed the same response on November 6, 2019 to the Government of Kerala, he added.
The Centre’s clarification flies in the face of the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan’s contention that the State Government had not received any response to its request for assistance from the Union Government to ascertain the credentials of the company.