Aiyar learns the difference between MS and petrol

Vol 8, PW 6 (16 Jun 04) News in Brief

Temporary or not, oil minister Aiyar is a busy man these days - busy educating himself about oil and gas.

"What is motor spirit" he asked a senior bureaucrat. "He has been educated sufficiently in the past two weeks to know that motor spirit and petrol are the same," the official tells us.

Aiyar is keeping the bosses of state-owned oil companies busy, summoning them to make presentations. "We are working more on presentations than running our companies," complains one CEO.

He has also invited editors and economists for talks on the sensitive issue of petrol and diesel prices. A former diplomat, hes renewing his contacts with OPEC envoys and soon after assuming office invited them to a lavish dinner.

First to visit him was the Saudi ambassador! One major change he has introduced is to have a visitors' room for those coming to meet him in the ministry. To save time he doesn't invite them to his room, but troops in to meet them.