What'sthe gain for India?
Before the start of his visit to Washington, Organiser had forewarned that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would come under a severe pressure from the US to get out of the otherwise ambitious project of India-Iran gas pipeline passing through Pakistan. Two days before winding up his visit, Dr Singh confirmed our predictions in his interview with The Washington Post. ?I am realistic enough to realise that there are many risks considering all the uncertainties of the situation there in Iran. I don'tknow if any international consortium of bankers would probably underwrite this.?? It is not our Prime Minister who is speaking like this; it is the US pressure on him that is evident in his Washington Post quote. In fact, you don'thave to read between the lines to draw your conclusion that the Prime Minister'squote is meant to certainly derail the project, which is meant to give India its energy security. When he says that he is not sure ?if any international consortium of bankers would underwrite this project??, he is telling the potential investors in plain and clear terms?do not invest in the pipeline project since it is fraught with risks and is not bankable. Come to think of it, it is nothing short of a scandalous comment. How can a Prime Minister take upon himself to kill the project of his own government.
One can only sympathise with poor Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar who has been shuttling between Delhi and the Gulf region more than he would have gone to his home constituency in Tamil Nadu in the past few months. Anyway, it is all part of the nuclear deal done between the Prime Minister and US President George Bush who has extracted the best out of lameduck government in Delhi being blackmailed by the Left parties day in and day out.
The Congress used to criticise the NDA government for being too friendly with India'sbusiness chambers like FICCI and CII. The Congress, sitting in the Opposition, would allege how the then government'spolicies were being influenced by these chambers. Let'ssee what they are doing now.
Dr Singh confirmed our predictions in his interview with The Washington Post. ?I am realistic enough to realise that there are many risks considering all the uncertainties of the situation there in Iran.?
If the NDA government was consulting the apex chambers on issues concerning the industrial policies and the state of economy, the UPA government is being advised not by the business chambers but by handpicked industrialists not about the economic policies, but on strategic affairs like the nuclear deal with the US.
This is lobbying at its blatant worst! And whom do these ten ?wise-men?, who accompanied the Prime Minister, represent? While FICCI, CII and Assocham represent thousands and even lakhs of their industry members, including small-scale units, whose interest Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Y.C. Deveshwar, Nandan Nilekani, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Deepak Parekh, Prata Reddy, Baba Kalyani, Analjit Singh and Ashok Ganguly were promoting as being part of the Prime Minister'steam?