Pt 2: The Great Indian Gas War -- Mani Shankar Aiyar on the Ministry of Gas 'Pricing'

Date Published: Category Video

On the 27th of June, 2014, the Press Club, Mumbai organized a panel discussion based on the book 'Gas Wars - Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis' written by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Subir Ghosh and Jyotirmoy Chaudhuri. On the panel, besides Parnjoy, sat Mani Shankar Aiyar, Kumar Ketkar and Govindraj Ethiraj. It was moderated by Gurbir Singh.

In this video, Mani Shankar Aiyar, who was the minister for petroleum for nearly two years in the previous Congress government, talks about his experiences as a minister with a portfolio he knew nothing about and trying hard to find out more about it. Perhaps trying too hard because he was replaced in less than two years despite an over-exuberance in attempts to make India energy secure. This eagerness, besides perhaps earning the ire of his party and the petroleum industry, also finds mentions in the US State documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden and Wikileaks. With little rancor but much candidness, alacrity and wit, he delves deep into the mystery of how gas prices are determined in India humorously calls his ex-ministry the 'Ministry of Petroleum and Gas Pricing'. He says that the ministry, instead of focusing on making India energy secure was more interested in determining price and kowtowing to the industry.