Pradhan targets anger at PESO

Vol 23, PW 18 (16 Jul 20) News in Brief

When Jinal Mehta speaks, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan listens.

Torrent Power managing director Mehta again raised problems with the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) delaying clearances for CNG stations during an online review of Gujarat-based city gas retailers on June 10. In response, Pradhan instructed joint secretary gas pricing Ashish Chatterjee to hound PESO until something changes.

"Chatterjee, call up PESO and if necessary message them ten times a day," Pradhan is reported to have said. "I want results!" Torrent Gas is one of Pradhan's favourite gas retailers.

"Jinal has established a good working relationship with Pradhan, just like his father (Torrent founder Sudhir Mehta) who cultivated relationships with Gujarat politicians and IAS officers," we hear. Much of the meeting heard GSPC managing director Sanjiv Kumar, who is also managing director of Gujarat Gas.

Scheduled to begin at 11.30am, the meeting started only at 1pm, as Pradhan was delayed. "This is the problem with these meetings (involving ministers)," complains a CGD source.

A lighter moment came when IRM Energy chairman Maheshwar Sahu, a former IAS officer from Gujarat, asked Pradhan for support to which the minister said wryly: "Maheshwar Babu now you are the one asking for support."