Tata group chairman Ratan Tata today dropped a bombshell with his revelation that the group's plan to re-enter airline business suffered a setback as he was not prepared to bribe a minister, an idea suggested by an industrialist.
Tatas, the pioneer in the country's airline industry, were thwarted in their plans to set up a joint venture with Singapore Airlines despite approaching three successive governments, Ratan Tata told reporters in Dehradun.
JRD Tata, Ratan Tata's predecessor, had set up the first commercial airlines of India 'Tata Airlines' way back in the 1930s, which was subsequently taken over by the government of Independent India in the 1950s and renamed `Air India'.
"An individual thwarted our efforts to form the airlines," Tata said while responding to questions on the group's success in not compromising ethics and values.
He, however, refused to name the individual.
"You are stupid people. The minister was asking for Rs15 crore. Why didn't you pay the money?" Tata quoted a fellow industrialist as saying at that time.