Clash of interests

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 02, 2012 05:07 hrs

The finance ministry may be drawing up plans to earn Rs 30,000 crore from disinvestment, but a key Cabinet minister has just sent out a signal that the government may not be the kind of promoter retail shareholders would like. Referring to a court case against Coal India by minority shareholder The Children's Investment (TCI), a journalist asked Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal how the government proposed to defend itself.

TCI's grievance was that the binding supply agreements Coal India was forced to sign with power producers in February under government pressure was against shareholders' interest. Jaiswal's reply was to suggest TCI's management read the 10th and 25th clauses of the shareholders' agreement, which clearly suggest the interest of the Government of India may clash with the interest of shareholders.

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