New Delhi: Jaipal Reddy is said to be upset by his transfer from the Oil Ministry to Science and Technology.
The shift from the high-profile charge of petroleum is widely seen as a demotion.
“His critics blamed him for starting a witch-hunt against the private sector and charged him with engaging in a purge of officers whom he suspected of being sympathetic to private players. Complaints kept growing and found receptive audience in different quarters of the government, including the PMO which also grudged his socialist instincts.
Reddy did not approve RIL's $7.2 billion stake-sale deal with BP, insisting on seeking clearance from the Cabinet. His stand annoyed Reliance which argued that the petroleum ministry was equipped to okay the deal on its own,” according to a report published in the Times of India.
The report further said: Citing CAG's 2011 censure of the government for being soft on contractual violations by Reliance, Reddy slapped a Rs 7,000 crore penalty on the company for failure to meet the gas production target from KG-D6 field. The ministry under his watch also withheld approvals for fresh investments in the field until Reliance submitted itself to a second round of performance audit by CAG.
The Oil Ministry had withheld approvals for Reliance's investment plans for the gas fields arguing that it must first allow an audit of the KG-D6 field from 2008-2012.
His transfer has raised eyebrows in the political circles.
“The government should explain why Jaipal Reddy was removed and given an unimportant portfolio. Was there pressure from industrial houses,” asked BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu.
The Petroleum Ministry, which was scene of the nation's biggest corporate battle a few years ago, had almost gone into limbo after Mr Jaipal Reddy took over in January 2011.
From delaying approval to India's largest foreign direct investment (FDI) to being a reluctant party to fuel reforms, the ministry has been accused of being regressive and negative towards the industry during the past 22 months.
(With PTI inputs)