Government is keeping a “close watch” on the Tata-Mistry feud as developments at the USD 100 billion conglomerate can have implications for the economy, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Wednesday.
The government, said Meghwal, who is also incharge of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) - where corporate disputes eventually land up, will steer clear of the row as “it is an internal affair of Tata Sons”.
“The government has nothing to do with it,” the minister told PTI, adding that Tata is a USD 100 billion group and the developments can have implications for the economy.
“We are keeping a close watch on the basis of whatever is coming in the media and whatever information we are getting from sources,” he added.Meghwal further said the matter has so far not been referred to MCA. “Nothing in writing has come to Ministry of Corporate Affairs.”
MCA looks after the affairs of non-listed companies while for listed firms, there is market regulator Sebi, he said.
“Tata Group is a very big group and naturally has a bearing on the economy,” he said. “But so far there is nothing to be concerned about. There is no cause of alarm.”
Asked about the interest of state-owned Life Insurance Corporation which is among the biggest stakeholders in Tata Group firms, he said not just LIC but “lot of people are involved. There are concerns of investors, global investors because they have a major role in economy”.
“There is no need to be worried. Tata group itself is a respectable group and they will solve their internal issues themselves,” Meghwal said.
“And if the issue comes up before the government and regulators, (they) will take action whatever rules are there.We are still keeping watch,” he added.
LIC owns 7 per cent in Tata Motors, 13.91 per cent in Tata Steel, 13.12 per cent in Tata Power and 8.76 per cent in Indian Hotels.
Cyrus Mistry, who was unceremoniously removed as Chairman last month, has sought a meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, possibly to explain his side of the story. But the finance minister has so far decided not to meet either side as the government does not want to get embroiled in the Tata Group turmoil.
Ratan Tata, Mistry’s predecessor who was brought in as his replacement in the interim period, has so far not sought an appointment with Jaitley even though there are reports that the two had sought time to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He has also alleged potential financial issues at the various companies and violations of securities regulations. His family firm Shapoorji Pallonji Group has 18.4 per cent stake in Tata Sons. As much as 66 per cent shares in Tata Sons are held by philanthropic trusts endowed by members of the Tata family.