Use a local MP to help get your money from GAIL

Vol 7, PW 11 (13 Aug 03) News in Brief

Oil minister Ram Naik is the last resort for companies dissatisfied with state oil companies.

Almost routinely companies complain to Naik with a covering letter from a politician from his BJP party or an opposition party - even if they are on weak ground. Take the case of GAIL.

Two companies: Pratibha Industries and Kalyani Mukand - both in Naik's home state of Maharashtra - have sent the oil minister separate letters accusing GAIL of withholding payments. Forced to respond, Naik asked GAIL for its comments.

GAIL writes back that Kalyani Mukand - a sponge iron factory - was wrong to approach the minister for help because GAIL's appeal against an arbitration tribunal award in favour of Kalyani Mukand, made in March, is still pending before the Delhi High Court. As for Pratibha Industries, GAIL tells Naik it has approved a first payment of Rs338, 802 towards the cost of Pratibhas construction at the Usar township.