The government has not yet begun examining the merits of $9.6 billion (R42,720 crore) Cairn-Vedanta deal, though Cairn Energy Plc applied for its approval for selling its stake in Indian unit to Vedanta Resources about six weeks ago.
“Right now we are deciding on the jurisdiction issue. Once the jurisdiction issue is resolved, we will come to the merit of the issue,” said S Sundareshan, oil secretary at economic editors conference. Cairn had on August 16 announced the sale of 40 to 51 per cent stake in Cairn India to Vedanta. He said Cairn must seek approval in all blocks and this was the jurisdiction issue that was being sorted out.
When reporters pointed out that the PSC provision only governed assignment or sale of interest in a particular block and was unlike Cairn-Vedanta deal where the ownership is changing at corporate level, Sundareshan said, “That is your interpretation. Not ours.”