Good if Ambanis can resolve differences amicably: FM

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 15:42

New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
on Wednesday hoped that Mukesh and Anil Ambani would be able to sort
out their differences amicably for the Indian market`s sake,
but said no one can say what would happen.

"I do not know what would happen because they are too
big. They have substantial influence over the Indian market,
therefore it is better that they sort out among themselves
amicably. But, after all it is for them to decide," he told
agency when asked if he saw the dispute being resolved out of
court.
"We may express our views and desires, but I do not know
what would happen," said Mukherjee.

Incidentally, the Supreme Court too asked the Ambanis
today why they cannot settle their dispute over gas supply
through arbitration or mediation.

The Supreme Court has commenced final hearing on the gas
dispute that pertains to Anil Ambani group firm RNRL`s demand
that it be supplied gas by Mukesh-controlled RIL at a price of
USD 2.34 per mmBtu agreed in a 2005 family MoU.

RIL, however, contends that it cannot do so in view of
the government policy, which in 2007 approved USD 4.20 per
mmBtu as price for gas from the KG-D6 fields. Besides, the
company said the family MoU was between the Ambani brothers
and that Anil should sue Mukesh if he feels aggrieved.

Mukherjee, who is chairing the empowered Group of
Ministers on allocation of natural gas, was cautious in his
optimism about the patch up. He and Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh had, earlier, in public statements hoped that the
brothers would resolve differences in larger national
interest.
Incidentally, Anil Ambani had made a surprise truce offer
to his elder brother earlier this month to resolve
disagreements cordially, but Mukesh had questioned the offer`s
sincerity without rejecting the proposal.

Anil had suggested reconciliation of all the
disagreements cordially, saying this could be done within
weeks as the biggest gift to mother Kokilaben.

Mukesh Ambani-led RIL, however, questioned the offer made
in public domain, pointing out that Anil could have easily
contacted his elder brother directly.

RIL asked Anil to demonstrate the bonafide of his
intentions behind the latest overture, adding it "welcomes
this positive indicator and will not be found wanting in
responding to them constructively."

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 15:42

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