Anil dares ministry to wrest gas fields from RIL

Ministry says the pricing formula would make country subservient

 Anil AmbaniIn a scathing attack on the Ministry, Anil told the shareholders of group firm RNRL that “it is evident that the apparently biased stance commenced in 2006, coinciding with the changes in the ministry.

“I’m sure all private companies in India wish that if they make commercial decisions, they wish to get out of, they too had a saviour to help bail them out as in the case of RIL.”
Bogey of ownership

While Murli Deora, whose ministry has sought annulment of the gas supply contract between RIL and RNRL in the Supreme Court, declined to comment, Petroleum Secretary R S Pandey hit back saying that Anil’s gas pricing formula would make the country subservient to RIL. Alleging volte-face by the petroleum ministry, Anil said though it stated in Parliament that it had no role in commercial dispute or in fixing the sale price of the gas, it has now gone to the Supreme Court challenging a commercial contract between two corporate entities. “The bogey of sovereign ownership is being raises with the sole purpose of attempting to bail out RIL and help them renege on their contractual commitments,” he said.

Meanwhile, the petroleum ministry warned that free pricing advocacy by Anil Ambani in ongoing gas dispute would make the country “subservient” to Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and said it has moved the apex court to protect national property from being appropriated in a family deal. Reacting to a slew of charges leveled by Anil Ambani against the ministry, petroleum secretary R S Pandey said, “If 60 per cent gas from KG-D6 and other blocks is given to RIL as per the free pricing advocated by Anil Ambani, then the gas can be used in the company’s petrochemical plants and refinery at US$1 per mmBtu and to the rest at higher prices.

“The whole country will be subservient to RIL. RIL will dictate the industrial development of the country.”

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, whose ministry has sought annulment of the gas supply contract between RIL and RNRL in the Supreme Court, refused to join issue with Anil saying: “I have no comments to make... as the matter is sub-judice. All I can say (to Anil) is best of luck”. Emerging from a meeting with Pandey and other ministry officials, Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said, “(the) government is not partisan. We have been seeking to protect public interest. “We can’t be answering questions he (Anil Ambani) raises. He is a private individual. He is free to make whatever comments he likes. (The) government has its own limitations.”

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