Pradhan dismisses Congress’ charges on ONGC-GSPC deal
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today dismissed Congress MP Jairam Ramesh’s charges of government pressure behind ONGC buying out GSPC in KG gas block, saying it is a commercial deal and mergers and integrations are an order of the day in oil and gas sector. “It is a commercial transaction between ONGC and GSPC. Their boards are competent to decide on them and they decided on it,” Pradhan told reporters here.
He was commenting on Ramesh’s demand for a judicial probe into Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s (ONGC) “sudden” decision to buy Gujarat State Petroleum Corp’s (GSPC) 80 per cent stake in KG Basin block for $1.2 billion.“What is the basis on which he (Ramesh) is saying (that there was government pressure in ONGC agreeing to buy GSPC stake),” he said.Ramesh, he said, perhaps was alluding to the “outside” pressures during the 10-year Congress rule.
“On what basis does he have to say that,” he said. “Have ONGC or oil companies not done (such) investments before? Is it doing for the first time? Is this the first merger and acquisition and they have not done any M&A or equity investment before,” he asked.