Radia Tapes: 067 - Radia, Vir Sanghvi (15:13:48)
Duration: 00:10:01; Aspect Ratio: 1.250:1; Lightness: 0.064; Volume: 0.212; Cuts per Minute: 4.387; Words per Minute: 183.272
NR: Hi...sorry to disturb you...
VS: No, not disturbing. We're sitting and eating dal-chaval in Goa. Shooting over here.
NR: Oh wow!
VS: Where are you?
NR: Delhi. Boring, old Delhi.
VS: What is happening with the court judgement?
NR: You see Vir, there's a view I have on this, you know, like I mentioned to you in my SMS.
NR: You see, when it came to coal, they were allowed to divert coal.
NR: Post that the decision happened of the EGoM to divert coal. What that effectively meant was that he could, after bidding for a UMPP he could divert coal to other projects and make lots of profits.
NR: It was a decision between Shinde and a bunch of guys including Chidambaram.
NR: We went to court in the High Court, the matter's gone to the Supreme Court, 'cause the High Court ruled against TATA Power.
NR: Spectrum - Mr Raja. You know everything about spectrum.... And he was given spectrum which is also natural resource.
NR: Retrospectively, after issuing a policy in the middle of the night on the 18th of October, TATAs and everybody else were first in the queue. Because you issue a policy and then you say -'Okay, you applied to me in 2006 so I'll give you a licence first'.
NR: For you, Mr Anil Ambani, becasue you're paying my party 500 crores, I'll give you spectrum in the middle of the night.
NR: -Others will have to apply. I will issue the policy only the day after on the website.
NR: They will apply and I will issue them a policy only after I make sure that all your spectrum is safely in your hands.
NR: - Which is exactly what happened.
NR: They went to- Sunil Mittal, Tata, - everybody went to TDSAT.
NR: TDSAT Dr Sarma, who was the former Telecom Secretary gave a judgement -
NR: 364 pages, by the way. Very conveniently, the same number of pages of the judgement today, or yesterday - gave a judgement and then is rewarded by Mr Raja and becomes the TRAI chairman.
NR: So spectrum again- natural resource- we're still fighting the battle in Supreme court. Not only us, Sunil Mittal, everybody, Vodafone- everybody is fighting the battle, right.
NR: Third one, gas. You have a High court who decides what should be the policy of gas- what should be the price of gas, ...based on the fact that the government has already said that it is a government-determined price.
NR: 4.24 was derived at the point when RIL called for bids.
NR: And the government said- whatever is going to be the highest bid a price, which is H1, will set the pricing of the government.
NR: In his MoU with his brother however, he signed an MoU which said -'whatever price I give to NTPC, I will give it to you at that price'.
NR: NTPC price was determined on the basis that Mukesh had bid for gas on an L1 basis, which is 2.34
NR: But even that said 'subject to government approval'
NR: Subsequently, the government came back and said the price is to be 4.2
NR: Why RIL went to court against NTPC was because NTPC wanted to give it unlimited liability.
NR: RIL said no company can give unlimited liability, it will go bankrupt.
NR: Unlimited liability for supply of gas.
NR: The fourth issue happens - Anil Ambani with Lakshmi Mittal - not so much Lakshmi Mittal -but Anil Ambani tries to go to Madhu Koda in Jharkhand.
NR: - and says I want allocation of iron ore mines. Iron ore mines - when he doesn't even have a steel plant.
NR: So all these four are natural resources.
NR: All four - we are in Supreme court.
NR: Now surely even at times when a governments will not decide whether an Yeddyurappa of the BJP will allocate a mine, -or a Madhu Koda, who wants 150 crores for the mine will allocate a mine.
NR: Or gas will be-
VS: Good point
NR: -determined by a High Court.
VS: Good point.
NR: This is something that has to be done by the prime minister of this country.
NR: There has to be one policy.
VS: Right, agreed.
NR: DMK can't give us titanium in... you know projects are blocked. There's no employment, manufacturing sectors collapsed.
NR: When you've got - an Amar Singh will go and have a nuclear deal, and tomorrow allocation of the mines will happen. Coal happened like that, by the way.
VS: How did that happen?
NR: Coal was a deal that was done between Amar Singh and the government, post a nuclear deal which said - this is my laundry list - I want spectrum - He got spectrum. 'I want coal' - because Anil has got coal for UMPP - you see when you do an Ultra Mega Power Project, you get coal automatically allocated to you.
NR: If that mine has excess coal, it has to- you have to do something with it in terms of giving it back to the government or whatever.
NR: He- after the bidding process was over- after he was given the project, ...he went back to the EGoM and said, 'Allow me to divert this coal to my other projects.'
NR: TATA Power's contention is- "Had you decided that that was going to be your policy, ...at the time of the bid, maybe I would have bid lower.-
NR: -'Cause I could have used other porjects to subsidise the rate."
NR: Valid argument, High court did not hold the decision hike(?). So we're back at Supreme court.
NR: About a year and a half ago, we'd applied for distribution in Bombay. High court didn't allow us to distribute power in Bombay. Even though we are a power generating company.
NR: We are allowed in south Bombay, we are not allowed in north Bombay.
NR: Finally we had to again go to Supreme court to get that order.
NR: So what does this tell you, Vir?- Tribunals, High courts, ministers, regional parties, state governments -cannot decide on how you deal with natural resources.
VS: Right -
VS: Its straightaway on the basis of corruption then, no?
NR: Yes! It is. Therefore it has to come from no less than the government. It has to be the prime minister, nobody else. Not even the prime minister- he has to form a core, clean bunch of people. You cannot have regional parties and that's for sure to start with.
VS: Hmm. An important policy change is required, na?
NR: A very important policy change!
NR: How can a High court judge decide whether a family MoU-
NR: -holds good at the risk of public interest. ...This gas doesn't belong to Mukesh Ambani!
NR: He's only an operator.
NR: It belongs to the people of India. Let the government decide on what the price should be.
VS: Agreed. Absolutely right.
NR: But the High court decides that its 2.34
VS: That makes no sense, no?
NR: Can you imagine!? He's written in his judgement- 'let no one think that there'll be no remedial measures in this country available'.
VS: Remedial for what?
NR: Remedial meaning its a subjective statement saying- Anil Ambani had-
VS: Remedial for whom?
NR: Remedial for him. Ya! Obviously for Anil Ambani. That's subjective. You cannot have a High court judge doing that.
VS: You guys are going to Supreme court?
NR: Ya. We'll have to go to Supreme court. No choice.
VS: It'll probably be overturned, no?
NR: Yeah but, Vir, the thing is that whilst ET and all of them are taking a position, I don't know how to handle Sanjoy Narayan.
VS: He's on leave, he's not here.
NR: No at Mint.
NR: Because, you see, my view - I think the argument that I've put forward is very compelling, that this is natural.
NR: I'm not saying even Mukesh Ambani. You can't even decide for Mukesh Ambani.
NR: You can't decide even for TATAs, what it should be.
NR: This is something that cannot be allowed in the hands of corrupt politicians or judiciary.
VS: What is the attitude ET and BS are taking?
NR: BS I'm sure will attack Raja and all that. They've already been doing that.
NR: And they'll say that there has to be a particular policy. But maybe they will even say Mukesh Ambani shouldn't have ...taken the... gas and negotiated with his brother for a resource which is of the government- er...the country.
NR: Fair point. No problem. But I think they will probably look at the market price. They'll say market price should be determined, and so on. Whatever that market price is. We have no problem with that.
NR: ET has consistently maintained that an ordinance should be issued and pricing should be done. And why are we in court and wasting all this public money?
NR: -for litigation, which is for the benefit of two brothers.
VS: Which is fair also, na?
NR: Yeah, which is also fine.
NR: HT and Mint have been- 2.34, if it was promised, it should have been given. How can you break contractual agreements- all that and the other.
VS: HT also? Where in HT?
NR: Don't know.
NR: Don't know. Pehle jab
(At first when) court case was on, na
, they were taking a particular position.
VS: But HT doesn't do editorials or whatever, it can only do reports. It takes this position in the reports also?
VS: It takes this position even in the reporting?
NR: Reporting is like, you know, 'Anil v/s Mukesh'.... That way atleast ET has stuck to companies, you know?
NR: And that's something they're conscious of because everytime they've put Mukesh's photo there, I get really mad at them.
VS: What about Sukumar- what is his name?
NR: Sukumar I think will take ADAG's stand. He's on their payrolls also.
VS: Are you sure about this? That he is on their payroll?
NR: Look, Vir, everytime I've gone to them, everytime, he really, strongly defends it. He defends them. Maybe he has some other personal interest. I don't know.
VS: What other interest could there be?
NR: Er maybe something else - maybe his boyfriend or something.
VS: He's not Anil's long lost brother or something. - No, no... it can't be that.
NR: I don't know Vir. You see, my- I have a decent concern..... My concern is that there is a - I mean - even if its Mukesh Ambani, or even if its TATAs, I know what we fought in Jharkhand. I mean I've been to Jharkhand. I've been to Ranchi, and I met Madhu Koda.
NR: He won't agree anything in less than 150 crores. We had to go to court. 'You pay me 150 crores, you tell Ratan Tata to pay me through his contractors.'
NR: I told him- I'm sorry Mr. Koda, I can't do that.
NR: Yeddyurappa, Karnataka - same thing.... How do you think those guys are making so much money- The Reddy brothers there?
VS: Yeah they can use this?
VS: crores for the town.
NR: Yeah, that's right.... This all needs to be taken away from the...
(tape ends abruptly)