New Delhi: Amid the tape controversy,
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said the government
should take note of Ratan Tata`s statement that India risked
turning into a `banana republic`.
"When a person like him makes a statement, I think we
should take him seriously," Pawar said on whether he had
raised the issues taken up by the USD 73 billion Tata group
supremo Ratan Tata at the UPA meeting yesterday.
The leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, an
important ally of the ruling UPA, added: "He (Tata) is not an
ordinary man. I am not saying he is a rich man but he
definitely commands respect not only in India but also
Tata had taken strong exception to the leakage of his
conversation with his PR person Niira Radia.
In an interview, Tata said that what had happened in the
last few weeks was an indication of what could happen anytime.
"Then we are really going down the root into a Banana
On the issue of CBI probe into the loan bribery scam,
Pawar cautioned against excessive use of the agency and said
if it started investigating every case where concession was
made, "my worry is banks and bank officials will not take any
decision (on granting loans)...
"I could not understand what is the responsibility of the
finance minister and what is the responsibility of CBI."
On what is the way forward, he said while detailed
investigation was a must if something had gone wrong, but
"simultaneously we have to see situation should not go to that
level where nobody will take any decision."
Pawar dismissed suggestions that CBI investigation into
corporate dealings could impact the government`s relations
with India Inc, saying: "There will not be any impact. If
somebody has done wrong, the government`s duty is to
investigate into it.
"If CBI or the state has serious information, it is their
responsibility to investigate the matter."
Incidentally, Ratan Tata yesterday moved Supreme Court
for a probe into leakage of tapes containing his private
conversations with Radia and seeking to make CBI, the Union
Home Secretary and the Income Tax Department respondents to
The tax department had tapped the phones of Radia as part
of its investigation into alleged irregularities in allocation
of 23 spectrum.
Yesterday, CBI filed in the Supreme Court a fresh status
report on its ongoing investigation into the 2G spectrum scam
allegedly involving former Telecom Minister A Raja.