In the Firing Line
The fortnight clearly belonged to Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal. A global leader in metals and mining, he surprised everyone with his proposed takeover of Cairn Energy's India business recently. The acquisition would have made him the richest Indian, zipping past Mukesh Ambani. But Agarwal's joy was shortlived as his group ran into rough weather in India.
First, the government indicated that its go-ahead would be mandatory for the buyout. Worse, Vedanta Resources' India plans were jolted when the environment ministry turned down its bauxite mining project on tribal lands in Orissa and also issued a showcause notice to the related Lanjigarh refinery project.
Agarwal has had a rough ride in India in the past as well. Exasperated with the bureaucratic sloth in India, he had relocated to London in 2003, where his group is now headquartered. His latest troubles will give him a lot to mull about.