CCEA to take call on Vedanta deal

“The GoM looked at various aspects of (Cairn-Vedanta) deal. It has taken a view on the matter. It will send its recommendations to the CCEA. The CCEA will take the final view,” Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy said after GoM meeting.

The CCEA is expected to take a decision within two weeks time, he indicated.
The GoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, at its meeting, which lasted for nearly one and half hours, is understood to have  recommended for approving the deal, sources said.

However, Reddy declined to say if the government approval to Cairn Vedanta deal would be conditional or unconditional. It may be noted that on April 6 the CCEA had met to take a view of the Cairn Vedanta deal. But in face of differences of views among various ministries, the CCEA referred the matter to the GoM.

In August last year the Vedanta Resources reached an agreement with UK-based energy major Cairn Energy to buy out its 51 per cent stake in Cairn India — Indian subsidiary floated by the Cairn to explore oil in the Rajasthan oil fields.

In Cairn India state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) holds 30 per cent stake.

After entering into the deal with Cairn the Vedanta Resources filed an application with the Indian government seeking its approval for the takeover bid. The Petroleum Ministry after incorporating comments on its draft note from ministries of finance and law had circulated a final note for consideration of the CCEA.

The ministry had watered down its earlier preconditions for giving approval to Cairn Vedanta deal and has almost withdrawn its earlier contention that Rs 21,802 crore in royalty and cess paid by ONGC on behalf of Cairn India on the Rajasthan oilfields should be equitably shared.

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