Ambanis cannot fix gas price, says Centre

The Centre, on Friday, filed its reply in the Ambani brothers gas deal row saying that the RIL and RNRL can not settle between themselves on pricing of gas which is a national asset.

The government in its reply to the petitions filed by both Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani heading Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL) and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd(RNRL) said “the government continues to have title of the natural gas, till the delivery point.

‘’The RIL and RNRL can not settle between themselves as to how the gas which is a national asset and a natural resource… is to be distributed,” said the reply filed by government.

RIL in its petition said it would not be possible to supply gas to RNRL without the government’s nod and requested the Supreme Court not to restrain it from selling gas to others.

It said that it can’t sell gas to anybody without official nod, the affidavit filed by RIL’s law firm Parekh & Company said that the government as such had rejected the price of $2.34 per mmBtu for gas. The current applicable price as per government formula is $4.20 per mmBtu.

RIL is a contractor under the production sharing contract entered into on April 12, 2000 with the government under the new exploration and licensing policy and has no unfettered rights on the quantity, said the petition. Both RIL and RNRL have filed cross-appeals challenging the Bombay high court decision on gas supply, in which the RIL has named the government as intervener.

RIL said in the affidavit that it would sell and supply the stipulated quantity of gas to users identified and nominated by the government.

“The instructions issued by the government... under the gas utilisation policy state that consumers belonging to any of the priority sectors should be in a position to actually consume gas as and when it becomes available and so the marketing priority does not entail any reservation,” the RIL affidavit said.

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