Radia Tapes: (20090529-172935) Radia with Tarun Das
Duration: 00:08:39; Aspect Ratio: 1.250:1; Lightness: 0.069; Volume: 0.185; Cuts per Minute: 2.308; Words per Minute: 169.783
Radia is on the line to Tarun Das, former head of CII. Das says that he had suggested Kamal Nath's name for surface transport ministry. He says Kamal Nath is a doer and can "make his 15 per cent" while doing some national service. Das adds that he had suggested Kamal Nath's name for the portfolio "big time". Das also says that industry is a new area for Anand Sharma and that they would have to educate and brief him. He also speaks about talking to Montek Singh Ahluwalia about exiting the CII and that he would speak to the PM about it because Montek wants him to. Radia tells Tarun Das that Ratan Tata was very worried about Maran taking over telecom, but is very happy now that Raja has come in.
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Nira: Hi Tarun.
Tarun: Hi. Sorry, I was in a meeting.
Nira: No problem, I told you, I will call you when I was in Delhi. So I just wondered how you were... Yes I am back. I am going to Vaishno Devi tomorrow to Jammu.
Tarun: Ok! I used to be on the board of trustees at one time.
Nira: Oh really!
Tarun: Without having any religion in me. I don't know how I was nominated.
Nira: It is as we call it Mata
's (Goddess Mother's) Will.
Tarun: Have you been there before?
Nira: Many times before. I am going now after about three to four years.
Tarun: Is it a good place?
Nira: Yes, yes! Lovely, lovely! Yaa, yaa, absolutely.
Tarun: And then you feel good going there?
Nira: Oh yes! It is really a great feeling.
Tarun: I presume you don't go in Western clothes.
Nira: No, no! Sari or salwar kameez.
Tarun: I don't think I have ever seen you in it... I have seen you at a wedding in a sari.
Nira: That's right.
Tarun: But it can't be that kind of sari.
Nira: No, no! Of course not.
Tarun: How was your Bombay visit?
Nira: Good! Good! Good visit. I met Ratan also.
Nira: Told him what are you doing, I mean, he was very worried about Maran of course.
Nira: I did tell him by the way. I am sorry I don't know whether I should have done that you were meeting with the Prime Minister on Monday. The Singapore Prime Minister.
JLR - Jaguar Land Rover (TATA subsidiary)
Tarun: Yes! Yes!
Nira: Regarding he is having a problem with his funding with JLR.
Nira: He is just caught up in that. He just can't raise the money for it.
Nira: For the equity part.
Tarun: Yes it is a lot of money.
Nira: Yes that is right. Where are you - town or in Gurgaon?
Tarun: I am in town and in just between meetings. I was with Montek for about an hour.
Tarun: Basically discussing some strategy issues and then now I am going to meet the CII president at Jorbagh and then I have to head back to Gurgoan. I have somebody coming there at 7 o'clock. I am actually running very late now.
Tarun: So when are you back?
Nira: On Sunday only.
Nira: But you are leaving Sunday night no?
Tarun: Sunday night I am leaving I'll be back on Tuesday morning.
Nira: So i am there Tuesday. In any case and your decision you are still standing by it?
Tarun: Yes, yes! Absolutely. I just told Montek. He wanted me to tell the PM also, I'll do that. We were discussing... One part of the meeting was whether there are any implications of this, vis-a-vis government relationship with me and he said no.
Tarun: We actually work with you and look at you in your personal capacity.
Nira: That's right I would have thought so.
Tarun: Otherwise sort of seen you like that because that is the way we have treated it not as CII. You know that you have that link. I said that link will still be there but I won't have that designation.
Tarun: So he said what designation will you have. So I said I am president of Aspen Institute, India and I am still chairman of Haldia Petro Chemicals and in fact the Prime Minister has nominated me on the Japan-India CEO's forum as chairman of Haldia Petro Chemicals.
Tarun: So I said yeah, no we are very comfortable with it.
Nira: So at the end of the day it is your personal capacity no?
Tarun: And actually he was wanting me to do more stuff. Get more active in, you know, from behind on the industry side and the economic side. So I want to do that sort of stuff you know.
Nira: That is a good thing and I am really glad.
Tarun: Because there is some trust here and I enjoy policy work. I like that and...
Nira: Yaa, yaa, so do I loved... Well if you need any help you always got the neighbour's secretary.
Tarun: I know that, I always recommend you. You know that.
Nira: No, no! And of course when it is working with you personally then it is probono na
? That is always there, anything. But I am preparing for the announcement. The Monday announcement is... Maybe we will do the announcement for Tuesday no?
Tarun: Yes, maybe. Let him get it for his board meeting tomorrow there because he has to go into the board now. I believe the president of CII is reacting a lot to my exit but that's what I am going to go and tell him.
Tarun: I have written a letter and all that and it is all gone in writing but now I have to listen to his please stay, please stay kind of crap.
Nira: Yes I know he is going to do that.
Tarun: But they don't understand me, no. They don't understand what I am like. I am not like a normal business man, private sector thing you know.I am happy to be nobody actually. And I am happy to be on my own and do my thing...
Nira: But you have been that. You have your own position. But you know they are having PC on Monday on the budget and I don't want them to mix this up with it.
Tarun: Yes, yes! Sure! Sure!
Nira: This has to be treated very separately and so...
Tarun: There is a meeting on the budget. Finance minister is meeting all the industrialists. Is Ratan coming?
Nira: I don't think so. He is going off to the U.S. tonight.
Tarun: Ok. So he won't be... I don't suppose Mukesh might come.
Nira: He is completely detached. I think Mukesh might come. But he has completely detached himself from all this.
Tarun: Right. That is a pity actually. That is a pity.
Nira: Yaa! He was a bit too nervous about what is going to happen to Telecom but now that Maran is not there he is happy.
Tarun: But Raja is there. Raja has a good equation with him.
Nira: No, no! Raja is good. He is happy with Raja. He was very worried till the announcement happened yesterday and a bit shocking for Kamal Nath, no?
Tarun: But that is a good job. He needs to build some roads.
Nira: No also I think he needed to be told that he had gone a bit overboard.
Tarun: Yes. This is a very strong message to him.
Nira: But what do you make of Anand Sharma?
Tarun: I know him reasonalbly well. Not too well. But we will have to brief him, educate him. He is new to this whole industry area. But he is a trusted person.
ministry of road transport and highways
Tarun: And he has worked hard in this system. So it is a bit of a surprise. But it is good. They have been thinking out of the box for a few names.
Tarun: Like Kamal Nath was also a surprise. Road Transport. But between you and me, I had suggested it for him.
Nira: I would have thought so.
Tarun: I had suggested it big time. Because highway construction, road construction is really a priority. He is a doer. You can make your 15% on this. So you can do national service and also make money. You know what I mean?
Tarun: And do really something worthwhile here because Baalu has screwed us for five years.
Nira: Yes! This is still an ATM for Kamal Nath no?
Tarun: Yes! Absolutely. Anyways you have a good trip and we will talk when you get back.
Nira: I will and I will pray for you and I will see you on Tuesday then. You know one more thing I wanted to ask you. India Brand Equity foundation.
Nira: Pillai... My team presented on Wednesday. Pillai has already made up his mind about Dilip Cherian.
Nira: I was surprised. I was quite surprised. My team tells me they were least interested in the presentation although Suhel had indicated that we were still far more in the reckoning and he said I had seen all the other presentations and they were pretty bad.
Nira: But my focus is more on the IBEF because I do believe that I can't be lying by saying that I will keep on building India. India will get built as a result of IBEF also upping its ante.
IBEF - India Brand Equity Foundation
Nira: I think this whole thing about saying it will only be India first doesn't always work.
Nira: India is there. You can never ignore it.
Tarun: I didn't go for that meeting.
Nira: No, I just wanted to let you know that that happened, so they gave it to Cherian and when my team went to present there were hardly even interested in listening to the presentation.
Tarun: Ok. I'll find out. Let me find out.
Nira: No I just wonder whether Pillai had a good equation with Cherian which made it happen.
Tarun: Must be, must be.
Nira: Not to worry.