Mumbai: The Government is likely to take a decision on the $9.6-billion Cairn-Vedanta deal in the next few weeks and that the decision would be taken on merits, a top official said.
“There is absolutely no delay on the part of the Government regarding the Cairn-Vedanta deal. We will come to a decision on this (deal) in the course of the next few weeks. The decision will be taken on merits,” oil secretary, S. Sundareshan, told reporters here on Monday.
The Anil Agarwal-promoted London-based Vedanta is acquiring a majority stake in Cairn India from Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy for a consideration of up to $9.6-billion.
Cairn India is a three-way joint venture with Cairn, domestic oil and gas major ONGC and Petronas of Malaysia. Presently, the Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy holds a 62.37% stake in Cairn India.
“We have told them (Cairn Energy) that we will require 8-10 weeks to examine all the issues and only then we will take the final decision,” he said.
On the controversy over the payment for oil imports from Iran, Sundareshan said, “the flow of oil will not stop and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will continue to supply oil to the Indian oil companies and we are hopeful of a settlement very soon.”
He said that a high-level delegation comprising of officials from the Reserve Bank, State Bank of India, the ministry of finance, ministry of petroleum and natural gas, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) and Indian Oil had gone to Iran to discuss the issue.
“Until a final settlement is worked out, oil supplies will continue and we are hopeful of a settlement very soon,” he said.
Following the increase in the prices of crude oil to $92-93 per barrel, he said that the under-recoveries were likely to reach Rs72,000-crore by end-this fiscal.
On divestment in ONGC and Indian Oil, Sundareshan said, “the ONGC FPO will hit the market by end-this fiscal. We plan to raise around Rs13,000-14,000-crore through the divestment. However, due to fluctuations in crude oil prices, the Indian Oil FPO will take place only in the next fiscal,” he said.