The Indian government has permitted the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ongc) and the Indian Oil Corporation (ioc) to buy assets of Russian oil giant Yukos. Yukos is currently reeling under crisis. Its chief executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky was recently detained for fraud and tax evasion. Its shares have dropped and its top officials are absconding, fearing arrest. The Russian government, especially president Vladimir Putin, has been charged with trying to demolish the company. Its action against Khodorkovsky has been highlighted in a section of the media as political in nature. Khodorkovsky had stepped down from his post on facing the charges and said he planned to dedicate his services to the Open Russia Foundation, an organisation working towards building a democratic Russia.
Petroleum Secretary S C Tripathi said ongc and ioc will have to form a consortium for the bidding. ongc chairman Subir Raha said ongc wanted to bid only for Yukos' oil assets. "The financial exposure would be too much," if it buys the company, he explained.
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