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Home »  Website »  National »  #89 G. Ganapathy Subramaniam, ET: Jun 29, 2009 22:36:01
Niira Radia Tapes

#89 G. Ganapathy Subramaniam, ET: Jun 29, 2009 22:36:01

'Whoever is giving you this input is really giving you the wrong perspective. ... I know for a fact because I’ve had someone speak to the PMO myself.'

#89 G. Ganapathy Subramaniam, ET: Jun 29, 2009 22:36:01
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Niira Radia: Ganu

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya.

Niira Radia: Hi Ganu! Ganu this story is completely wrong (inaudible due to noise in background) ..

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Pardon. Pardon me?

Niira Radia: That EGOM story is ...

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Haan (Yes).

Niira Radia: ... Not at all true!

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  No no no. It is correct. It is going to happen. That’s what…umm…hmm…working all day…and…that’s why I tried to…during the day…uhh…you…tried to send you a message also.

Niira Radia: Hmm.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  (inaudible) also saw that letter from the fertilizer secretary to the health secretary.

Niira Radia: Ya I sent it to you.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya ya ya, that’s right. I could understand that because there is one (inaudible) point there na?

Niira Radia: Haan

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  That I’ve made sure, that, like, the essence of it is captured.

Niira Radia: But tomorrow in print, what’s the status?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya..ya..same thing. The PMO wants..uhh.. committee done and one of the reasons is that you know there are so many department (inaudible) issues. One example is how the utilization policy will be impacted and how the concerns raised by (inaudible...perhaps fertliser secretary)…

Niira Radia: Uh huh.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  So this is the concern today. Tomorrow same kind of concern could arise for Power and same kind of concern could arise for Steel.

Niira Radia: Hmm.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  So. so instead of leaving it to…on…national…uh…resource issue…to some individual, they want the collective wisdom of the senior member of the cabinet to work.

Niira Radia: Uh huh. Uh huh.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Which is, I thought, was the right balance and I checked up with a number of people during the day and this is there and except…

Niira Radia: Murli Deora said it is not true.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya he is…he is…

Niira Radia: I heard..I saw his statement on your channel.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya he is unhappy na. He is going out…slipping out of the hands.

Niira Radia: Ganu I’ll tell you one thing. Whoever is giving you this information has got a serious agenda.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  How?

Niira Radia: I’m sorry. I’m sorry I don’t agree with you on that at all because all I know is…I know it for sure that…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: …you know, whether it is prime minister of whether it is anyone…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: …they are extremely alright with it as far as Murli Deora is concerned because they consider all of these to be non-issues.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Yes?

Niira Radia: I don’t agree. I don’t agree with whoever is giving you this input is really giving you the wrong perspective. I mean…this is not the case. I know for a fact because I know PMO has spoken. I’ve had someone speak to the PMO myself.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: It’s not…this is not correct.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  (inaudible mumble)

Niira Radia: whoever has given you this info…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  (incoherent interruption)

Niira Radia: It is going out of Murli’s hands. It doesn’t really matter because it is only on the prime minister’s instructions that the utilization policy was issued in the first place.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  That’s right.

Niira Radia: And it is not Murli Deora. It has to do with Anil Ambani and their people and Amar Singh lobbying for their fertilizer company should be given gas so Anil…uhh…Mukesh doesn’t take everything.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: This very argument is against their own…this thing…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Uhh…But…Isn’t it the case that they have earlier decided only the pricing and utilization for part of the output, no? The other part of the output is yet to be decided.

Niira Radia: Well, even if that happens, let me explain to you that when you talk about 70% of the gas and gas is used for power and fertilizer today.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…hmm…hmm.

Niira Radia: The moment you bring steel, ceramic, glass- all the industries that deal with gas…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: …then the pricing policy…then you call in for an open bid process what you call a transparent bid.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: And everybody has been saying.. you can call in for…price of gas will only go up to $5.5 to $6…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…hmm.

Niira Radia: …because the steel sector today gets gas at $8.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: So when people are going to bid, they are going to bid at a substantially higher price because they want to have their hands on the gas.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…hmm…hmm.

Niira Radia: So then they can give free marketing rights to RIL and say you distribute gas to whatever you want…they’ll choose the highest ones naa.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…hmm…hmm.

Niira Radia: So this whole thing about…the government has defined the policy only on the basis that are most critical priority sectors which are the…power, existing power plants, fertilizer are given gas plus otherwise the fertilizer guys are still importing Naptha at $18 today.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…hmm…hmm.

Niira Radia: So if anyone has given you this perspective is only trying to wind up because they haven’t taken into account that…In fact we will be the happiest if government revisits this because it gives us more profit.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Haan haan..nahi nahi nahi nahi…We are not saying anything on that but on…on…on…litigation, the government has to take a stand. They would like to take a…consider a stand keeping in mind the long term interest. Whatever they have decided in the past regarding their policy now everything taken together, no?

Niira Radia: I feel litigation is a departmental thing. I don’t think it is…because as far as PMO is concerned, we have decided on a policy. At least that’s my understanding, may be I am wrong. But that is clearly my understanding, honestly.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…I don’t know because the previous EGMs said a lot of things including if you remember the…the…the last meeting. They even made own decision that gas should be supplied to Dadri or something.

Niira Radia: No…They said the matter is…These people inserted in the minutes that it is sub judice because Amar Singh (inaudible) the nuclear power issue got submitted in the minutes so the department got…you see…Ganu, let us just understand one thing…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Haan haan.

Niira Radia: …that there is no loss to RIL if they supply at 2.34. It is the wrong impression that is being given to all of you because you all are looking really very silly by carrying such stories because there is no loss to RIL and the gas to Dadri being provided is actually quite alright as long as he has a power plant. Who is stopping it?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya absolutely. I mean I have…

Radia : Mukesh hasn’t ..Mukesh hasn’t said no. ok? Mukesh hasn’t said no. Mukesh is saying I can’t give you gas because the government doesn’t allow me to give you gas.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…hmm.

Niira Radia: So let the government clarify.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: But the Judge says I am above policy and I am above the government .

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: So he decides that between Anil, Mummy [Kokilaben] and Mukesh, they can distribute the gas to Dadri or wherever he wants the gas to go to. But Mukesh’s stand is that I can’t decide that because the moment I decide that, the government will cancel my PAC.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Haan haan…See I don’t know whether I am able to explain this to you very clearly or not because even in that…the…the concern of the fertilizer secretary. He says how can a private agreement be upheld by the board overruling the government’s decision? That’s the only point we have taken up from there. And when you read it in the morning you will realize and if you still feel I am in the wrong you let me know. Because I…I…I…I checked again and again from multiple sources and then only I have made this because I know earlier also government intervention…court mein affidavit file karega, nahi karega (may or may not file an affidavit in the court). There have been so many ifs and buts and ups and downs in the entire story but again I’m telling you, you can trust me on this. I have no reasons to play any mischief on this.

Niira Radia: No no. I am not saying you are. Ganu I am saying there is a perspective being given to you wrong. You see, I would love to explain it to you. Ganu, you and I have worked on airport together and you and I have both understood it, right?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya.

Niira Radia: The point that I am saying is that the perspective being given to you by whichever person in the government is briefing you…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: …may not be a correct perspective.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Possible…possible. That I don’t disagree at all. It differs from person to person. Somebody might have given me a wrong perspective, I might have understood wrongly. Whatever! But we are not giving any opinion on this whatsoever. I am trying to be…really…make it very clear..just to say…this is the thinking.. they want to do this. And the reason for doing that is that they want a very cohesive kind of strategy. If they decide to go into the litigation or they decide to go into any other strategy including issue of ordinance or whatever. I mean…not exactly suggesting that but any other counteraction.

Niira Radia: Haan…correct.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Simply that’s what. Nothing more at all. Tomorrow when you read it then you will see because all this confusion about Murli Deora and all has happened because because Murli has been trying to explain to people that as far as I am concerned that 4.2 is decided already, no…We are not disputing that at all. We are only saying that if the government sees any reason to…for…joining the litigation in the interest of say, allocation…just a second…in the case of price or in the case of allocation or in the case of NTPC, t hey might consider it. That’s all. That’s all we are saying. We are not saying that he will do this, he will do that. Nothing of that sort.

Niira Radia: No no Ganu I am in agreement with that. I..I accept what you are saying but what I am also saying can you…you have to re-examine what is the NTPC issue.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Haan, haan

Niira Radia: You should actually…I would…Nobody…I am surprised that nobody is really carrying this but I give you the perspective. I mean the NTPC issue was never an issue on price, haan?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…hmm…hmm…That's right. That’s right.

Niira Radia: You know that na?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya ya ya…actually I have no problem at all. See also…also…Now what I have done is…Now I have brought this entire thing into perspective and brought a few other people on board. Therefore you know, infact, we are also trying to do, you know that, we are also trying to do a little debate on whether court can decide on what is being decided by government and group of ministers and others collectively. So all that…it is in that perspective only. Anyway, let me do one thing. Let me give you a call in the morning. You read it once and let me and then you see which is the right course or wrong course. If it is the wrong course then we can correct. That’s not a problem at all. But tomorrow we are only saying this is the starting point. That’s all.

Niira Radia: Hmm.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  So, then how we take is forward is entirely…is not bound by what…

Niira Radia: Ganu I’d like you to just…I wouldn’t mind. I have no problems. In fact I would be very happy if you turn around and said…even if my client is to be at receiving end…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: Infact I would be very happy if you get a government official to give you a statement…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: …which says why did Mukesh Ambani even sign this agreement?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: If the gas doesn’t belong to him…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: …and he says the gas belongs…that I am only a contractor…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: …then why did he sign the agreement because it a sovereign right. It’s not his sovereign right na, it’s the sovereign right of the country and the people of India, right?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya…ya…ya…I (inaudible)…It is a national asset.

Niira Radia: Because it is a national asset. So if I were you, I would actually question…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ok.

Niira Radia: …the fact that why Mukesh has signed this agreement in the first place?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Fine…cool…fine…we now have the next trigger point to work on. Absolutely fine. So I’ll start on this and tomorrow morning I’ll speak to you and take it forward that way, no problem.

Niira Radia: That will be useful because we can (inaudible). Listen, I…I am still stuck here…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  No problem. No problem.

Niira Radia: So I’ll be back only…we’ll be able to speak on the phone so that I can brief you…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Sure sure.

Niira Radia: …but Rohit is back in Delhi from tomorrow.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  OK

Niira Radia: So I’ll be here till…till I don’t know when…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Fine fine. No problem. Achcha you wanted me to understand some other issues, you know…some…you wanted me to read some papers.

Niira Radia: This parity…this parity on pricing…what I am saying is…I understand the draft cabinet note that has gone into circulation where they are saying very clearly that this 4.2 which is the price of the (inaudible)…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Haan.

Niira Radia: …will be the benchmarking price, which is fine.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: The second thing is that I’m saying there is a disparity of pricing today.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: Y'see the price today is 4.2 as far as Tata Power is concerned, GVK is concerned and everybody else is concerned, right?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm…hmm.

Niira Radia: 2.34 for him.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: Now as a policy because you are largely a policy person, as a policy you tell me if tomorrow Anil goes and bids for any power project, he’ll always win the bid, there will be a monopoly created.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ok. Ok.

Niira Radia: Where does it serve…where is the competition any longer? The competition…Noboby will ever bid on a power project now on gas base.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Hmm.

Niira Radia: Because Anil Ambani…therefore this judgment is a class of its own. It has given Anil the benefit of bidding for every future project in the country and winning it.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  See…what.... what I’ll do is…we have sort of started off a debate today and tomorrow morning can I call you? Say, at around 10-10:30 and speak to you?

Niira Radia: Umm…hmm 10:30 would be great.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  We’ll (inaudible) a small list of items and take it forward?

Niira Radia: Super. Great.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ok. Thanks. Bye.

Niira Radia: Bye Ganu I look forward to reading it.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Sure sure. Ya ya. Please.

Niira Radia: Please don’t me mind me saying…

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  No no. Not at all.

Niira Radia: …because I (inaudible) to PMO and I also (inaudible) UN.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya ya. I am very happy to hear your frank views. Please read tomorrow and then let me know.

Niira Radia: Ok. Because between you and me there is nothing hidden, that’s why.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  No no no, no problem. This is the only way in which you can help me sort of regaining the right perspective. So read it and I’ll talk to you tomorrow morning.

Niira Radia: Right, right, right. Great Ganu. So I’ll give you a call tomorrow at 10:30?

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Ya. 10:30 in the morning I’ll give you a call. Ya.

Niira Radia: Ok thanks.

G. Ganapathy Subramaniam:  Thanks. Bye.

Transcribed by Gaurav H and checked by OL

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