Mukesh Ambani meets PM amidst demand for windfall tax

July 14th, 2008 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday amid calls for the imposition of a windfall profit tax (WPT) on private petroleum firms. Ambani, who flew in from Mumbai early morning, also met other senior ministers and top bureaucrats in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), company officials said.

Before wrapping up his hurricane visit to the capital, the chairman of India’s largest industry house was also meeting Congress president and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Although there was no official word on Ambani’s back-to back meetings, informed sources said that he took up the issue of windfall profit tax during meetings, saying the WPT lacked the ingredients of “good economics”.

Amar Singh, in a letter to Prime Minister last month, had sought 20 percent WPT on private oil firms like RIL, and even called for a high-powered committee to look into the matter.

WPT is a tax on profits that ensue from a sudden windfall gain to a particular company or industry, especially in the case of private petroleum firms engaged in refining crude oil.

He also called for the prime minister’s intervention in the dispute between the Ambani brothers, Mukesh and younger brother Anil.

Amar Singh, the new ally of the Congress, has raised several issues pertaining to Mukesh’s RIL.

Singh, who has also expressed reservations about the functioning of Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, has argued that private petrol firms were making higher profits in the wake of rising prices of oil.

Singh has even dubbed as “disgusting” Mukesh Ambani’s opposition to the bid of Anil Ambani owned Reliance Communication to buy stakes in South African telecom giant MTN Group.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |