Agarwal offers board seat in lieu of speedy clearances

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 24, 2013 03:13 hrs

Vedanta group chairman Anil Agarwal on Saturday made an unusual offer to the government. He said the petroleum ministry and the state-owned ONGC could take up a board position on his group's subsidiary Cairn India to expedite government approvals.

Agarwal's Vedanta Resources had in August 2011 announced buying out Edingurgh-based Cairn Energy Plc's majority stake in its Indian unit, but the government took more than a year to approve the $8.6-billion deal. Permission for further exploration in the Barmer block, too, took over a year.

A government representation on Cairn India is not possible since neither the government nor ONGC have any holding in the company. Currently, government approvals are routed through an oversight committee that comprises both Cairn and its partner ONGC's nominees and representatives of the government. Petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily, who was also present at the function, reacted by stating the formation of Cabinet Committee on Investment would speed up clearances.

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