Mukesh Ambani wants govt as umpire, not involved party

Mukesh Ambani wants govt as umpire, not involved party

New Delhi: Pitching for integration of fuel prices in India with the world markets, industrialist Mukesh Ambani has suggested the government should act like an ‘umpire’ rather than getting itself involved in the business.

“As we go ahead, the government has to be more of an umpire or the tournament organiser as opposed to getting involved in the game," Ambani said, while speaking about necessary policy changes in the energy space.

“We need disruptive policies, which will help India leapfrog and realise the growth potential — speedily and sustainably," he said in an interview to global investment banking major Morgan Stanley.

Without specifically mentioning the policies that cap fuel prices at low levels, he strongly pitched for removal of “artificial and unjustifiable" differentials in prices.

“World gas markets should be integrated with the Indian gas markets. Artificial and unjustifiable price differentials should go, since they distort the energy economy and deter fresh investments," he noted.

Ambani, who heads the country’s leading corporate house Reliance Industries group whose main business interest is in energy space, said that “India’s energy security is today an important aspect of national security".

“Continued search for energy sources should be encouraged and emerging avenues like shale gas as also alternative sources should be pursued," he added.

Ambani further said that India must secure its food and energy supply needs to grow at double digits.

“Certain dramatic changes in the face of rising demand could put energy supplies at risk, but the search for more energy resources must not stop at any cost," he added.

Speaking about RIL businesses, Ambani said: “We see a very bright future for our energy business. Our strategic partnership with BP will enable us to exploit the full potential of our domestic oil and gas portfolio.

“A JV to import gas from global sources and invest in infrastructure to provide reliable supply of gas to Indian consumers is also proposed in this partnership," he added.

Ambani asserted that energy would continue to be one of the flagship businesses for RIL group.

Asked about new businesses, Ambani said: “I have tremendous expectations from our broadband digital services business to change the game and disruptively innovate to address India’s inherent challenges.

“We hope to fundamentally transform the way industries such as financial services, health care, media and entertainment operate in India.

“I also see big potential for broadband-enabled services to transform the government-citizen interface, besides agriculture and the informal sector of the economy, which employ the highest number of people. PTI BJ TVS 06141643