Bangalore International Centrehad arranged a Panel Discussion on the Book “Gas Wars: Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis” authored by Mr.ParanjoyGuhaThakuta along with Mr.SubirGhosh and Mr.JyotirmoyChaudhuri, on Saturday, 20th September, 2014 at 6.00 PM.Mr.ParanjoyGuhaThakuta, Lead Author of the book, Dr.VinodVyasulu, Adviser, Centre for Budget & Policy Studies and Mr. B K Bhattacharya, Former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Karnataka were present as panellists. The discussion was moderated by Prof.S L Rao, Former Director-General, National Council of Applied Economic Research.
Mr.ParanjoyGuhaThakurta in his talk explained how the simmering controversy over the rich natural gas reserves in the Krishna-Godavari Basin boiled over into a primetime storm on gas pricing involving the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas as well as the Prime Minister's Office, even as he introduced new dimensions to it. While many reasons in this context have been attributed to the split in a powerful Indian business family, he argued that the battle was largely about wresting control over reserves of natural gas that are below the ocean bed along the basin of the two greatest rivers of southern India.
He explained about how the country’s largest corporate conglomerate has benefited from the way government policies are structured, and highlighted the alarming facts of a natural disaster waiting to happen due to the ruthless exploitation of the country's natural resources in order to swell the fortunes of a few.
Dr.VinodVyasulu and Mr. B K Bhattacharya in their observations pointed out that there was a talk of clear and cohesive thinking about the approaches towards the utilisation and pricing of natural resources by the private sector, as well as the public sector.
There was a lively interaction with theaudience in which Mr.GuhaThakurta was warmly applauded by everyone for his zeal and courage to unearth the truth behind the maze of claims and counter-claims on this issue.