Niira Radia: Hi Ganu.
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Hi. (Pause) Sorry to call you so late…
Niira Radia: Un-hunh
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: There is some fuss about the government coming out with some ordinance on the gas price issue.
Niira Radia: Hunh
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Haan, I don’t know how correct or how, what stage this is, etc… (but) some people were saying that since the court order is based on private agreement
Niira Radia: Hunh
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: …I mean the government has already fixed a different price – so they might issue an ordinance saying that sales should happen at this price and not at any other price
Niira Radia: I think your publication has run an edit on it before, naa?
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Uh, I think that must be much earlier, when the GoM and all those businesses were going on.
Niira Radia: Well no the court case was on. I think your edit had taken a position that you know, why are we wasting tax payers’ money by going into this legal battle, which really you know only the private parties are going to benefit… why can’t the government just come out with an ordinance because the price is a national asset and it should be determined by the government.
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: This must be the pre, pre-judgement, in the old days when the case was being heard and all that…
Niira Radia: Correct.
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Okay. So something like that, you know, what people are saying is that there has been some discussion between Pranab Mukherjee and Murli Deora on this.
Niira Radia: Hmm
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: So I don’t know how accurate this could be, because Prime Minister is not here. And you know of course nobody can claim that there can be some cabinet whatever, review on this, etc.
Niira Radia: Hmmm
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: But Pranab Mukherjee, it is possible, because Pranab Mukherjee was head of the E GoM earlier, and then later on Murli Deora was also a member, and Pranab now, has become, later on, now, has become the Finance Minister. So he has all the more say on the subject. But the funny point is that the E GoM never had said anything like this! The E GoM did not you know…
Niira Radia: Tch, the E GOM was compromised because of Amar Singh at that time, no.
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Ahhh. So the last meeting of the EGOM which, you know the decision (unclear) was made public, did not say anything on the ordinance like this. But now some talk of that is going around I think. So maybe you need to… check it out a little.
Niira Radia: You see, at the end of the day I just can’t understand how a court can decide that Kokilaben should decide, naa. The natural resource of the country, I mean it’s a bit of a joke. You’ve made Kokilaben look like a laughing stock, no?
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: And then they are saying, you go and renegotiate, you know. Whatever… I mean, how can you know a court and say, two parties, keep negotiating and renegotiating an order, I mean when the E GoM and the government, they should take a view on the prices.
Niira Radia: Hmmm.
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Ha, it’s also really funny.
Niira Radia: It is, isn’t it?
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Yeah yeah yeah. Yeah, I think — is now using this to make some quite noises about how they will now go on to build the Dadri plant, etc, when there’s not even a single brick there.
Niira Radia: Nahi, and not only that, they’ve not even acquired all his land.
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Yeah. So. All in all, kind of presupposition. But anyway they got an opportunity finally, one thing, you know, finally, to blow up their stock market operation.
Niira Radia: Well yeah, for a while they’ll play on the markets…
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Yeah…
Niira Radia: …and then benefit by it, and then somebody else will take it again and…
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Then that’s right. And already I think he has been talking to people to raise money from the markets, etc, again. So this must be a strategy to, you know, do all that.
Niira Radia: (unclear)
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: But you please check on this ordinance business, whether, you know, what this is all about.
Niira Radia: Well, I don’t think the government will leave it.
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Sure… yeah.
Niira Radia: I can’t see that happening, I can’t see (that) I can't see them allowing the High Court to be deciding, as one who’s not qualified.
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Yeah, how can, how can… Tomorrow then courts can decide the price at which diesel and petrol should be sold also.
Niira Radia: Yeah if you look at what CK Arun has said. CK Arun has very clearly said, that you can’t, you know… the court upholds the family side, but this is a national resource, you know. It’s a bit of a shame really… I’ll check on this, I’ll send a message, yeah?
G. Ganapathy Subramaniam: Yeah (unclear)
Niira Radia: And we’re meeting tomorrow, yeah?
Transcribed by Trisha Gupta and checked by OL