Vol 2, PW 22 (11 Nov 98) People & Policy

No one in India is more worried by the Reliance raids than the dozens of public sector officials and high-ranking bureaucrats running Indias state-run energy companies.

Police remain tight-lipped about material discovered during the Delhi and Bombay raids, but when it becomes public, as it inevitably will, there is little doubt it will open a veritable Pandoras Box of incriminating data against high-ranking public sector officials, many of whom are in the pay of Reliance Industries. Indeed, Petrowatch learns that among the documents shredded by Reliance during its pre-raid clear-up on 8 November (see above) were documents relating to the marketing tie-up with Indian Oil Corporation (See below: ANGER AT RELIANCE TIE-UP WITH IOC), which directly involved several top IOC officials.

Reliance has never hidden the fact that its success in India is down to its ability to "successfully manage the local environment". (Excuse me).

It does this in a number of ways. Take the present oil minister, Vazhapadhi Ramamurthy.

It is known that "Reliance Bala" in Delhi was close to Ramamurthy, a fellow Tamil. Moreover, Ramamurthys private secretary, AS Bhalla, was appointed on his recommendation.

And until last month, Ramamurthys son was an executive with Reliance Petroleum. A joke doing the rounds in Mumbai these days is that he had to leave his job with Reliance "to manage Papas money".