A certain politician with a suave exterior (for the most part), who wears white, reflecting the clothing culture of the land he hails from has proven once again that he has a serious controlling interest in the ICICI Bank. Teamed with an industrialist who controls most appointments in and out of the Petroleum Ministry, the duo has managed to “persuade” the Modi government to appoint their hand-picked man for the post of a non-executive chairman of ICICI Bank.
A story that was published on June 28th in the Business Standard has the right heading but cleverly (or conveniently or unfortunately) omitted to mention Mr. Girish Chandra Chaturvedi (GCC)’s name as a candidate (see Figure 1). So while everyone was scrutinizing the list and getting outraged at the names, the real pick was quietly inducted. Nice sleight of hand, Industrialist/ Politician duo!
Who is G C Chaturvedi?
This appointment makes one say, “the more things change, the more they remain the same”. Mr. Chaturvedi was an Additional Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS) before being picked by the duo above to be the Petroleum Secretary. This is a plum posting for more than one reason, especially under the UPA dispensation. Remember India has a huge oil import bill and a lot can be “managed” using Shell corporations to over-invoice the imports and skim the difference, with due “consideration” for all the players. Whether it happened or not is for the current regime to look into. We are just mentioning the possibilities.
Did Mallya benefit from Mr. GCC’s largesse?
Vijay Mallya, it is believed, had stopped paying for aviation kerosene (also called aviation turbine fuel, the fuel used to power aircraft) bills for Kingfisher Airlines. Yet, the Petroleum Secretary allegedly put pressure on state-owned Oil Marketing companies to supply fuel to Kingfisher. Perhaps Mr. Chaturvedi can clarify why he did this…
As Addl. Secy, DFS, did you push PSU Banks hard to give loans to Vijay Mallya when it is was clear that he was a very bad credit risk? How many of such “recommended loans” have now become Non-Performing Assets (NPA)? Our guess? Nearly 80%. Did you not perform as a trio with Ashok Chawla and Vinni Mahajan to speedily obey the Mantri-ji on all his demands to give out loans to capitalist cronies?
Commercial Banks or Piggy Banks?
Given this record, why did ICICI appoint you? How did the North Block approve this appointment? Could this be the reason? ICICI is 60% foreign owned yet no Class Action Lawsuits have been filed (at least as of today). This makes one wonder why the US-based investors have been keeping silent. Even a 5% slide in earnings from the expected value draws a lot of scrutinies – several instances of 10% kickbacks to the CEO going unnoticed can only mean one thing – the majority of the shares are owned via Participatory Notes by Indian nationals. Any guesses on who they could be?
In Modi we trust
Prime Minister Modi, please do something. People are now starting to call you Maun Modi.
At PGurus we want Maun Modi to be Mahathir Modi – this 93-year old man has done more in 4 weeks than you in 4 years! When are you going to be Mahathir Modi?