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Mukesh Ambani steals the show at pre-Budget meet

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The Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, flanked by the Reliance Industries CMD, Mr Mukesh Ambani, and the Videocon Group Chairman, Mr V. N. Dhoot, at the pre-Budget meeting with industrialists in the Capital on Tuesday. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , Jan. 11

THE presence of the Reliance Industries Chairman, Mr Mukesh Ambani, at the pre-budget meeting with the Finance Minister, Mr Chidambaram, and his subsequent separate meetings with the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Dr Rakesh Mohan, and the Revenue Secretary, Mr K.M. Chandrasekhar, set the otherwise sombre corridors of North Block abuzz with activity.

Pre-Budget deliberations took a backseat for the assembled mediapersons, who were eager to quiz Mr Ambani on the ongoing controversy between the two brothers.

Officials of Reliance Group accompanying Mr Ambani, however, sought to downplay his meeting with the Finance Ministry top brass as "courtesy calls."

Meanwhile, sources told Business Line that Mr Ambani had, in his address at the pre-budget meeting, underscored the need for a comprehensive "energy policy" on the lines of the existing policy on information technology. He had also sought measures to address anomalies in the pricing of different fuels in the hydrocarbon sector.

He is understood to have also given suggestions and views on improving the education system.

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