Govt mulls uniform gas price policy

Govt mulls uniform gas price policy

Rules out take over of RIL

In this regard he said that a study has been commissioned to consider the feasibility of having such a policy.

Deora’s pbservations came amid in the wake of law makers demanding that Mukesh Ambani-led RIL’s gas fields be nationalised but the government turned it down.
Cutting across party lines, MPs in Rajya Sabha expressed deep concern over the dispute and said the private contractor (RIL) should not be allowed to enter into a memorandum of understanding for distribution of gas from a national asset.

The “old days of nationalisation are gone,” Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said, responding to the debate on a calling-attention motion moved by CPI-M’s Tapan Kumar Sen, adding that the government had nothing to do with the private dispute between the Ambani brothers - Mukesh and Anil. “Will government consider and take urgent step to take over the distribution and marketing of the gas at well-head so that it can be utilised for national priorities?” Sen asked.

Deora asserted that the government-fixed price of US$4.2 per mmBtu for gas from RIL’s KG-D6 fields was lower than rates charged by others like UK’s BG Group and Cairn India. The comments came in the midst of wrangling both inside and outside court between Ambanis over supply of gas from RIL to Anil Ambani group’s RNRL at US$2.34 per mmBtu.

Narrow interests
He appealed to members to rise above narrow interests for devising better usage of the fuel. “If we keep on blaming others and say ‘this’ belongs to him... this fellow is in his pocket, this fellow is in another’s pocket, I don’t think we will do any service to anybody.

“We should be proud that such vast reservoir of oil and gas (in KG-D6) are available in our country,” he said, assuring Andhra Pradesh - the landfall point of the gas from deepsea Bay of Bengal - that its demand for gas for industries there would be met. “We will do full justice to the people of Andhra Pradesh,” Deora said. Members from Andhra Pradesh who sought gas for the state included Janardhan Reddy (Congress), P Madhu (CPI-M), Gireesh Kumar Singhvi and M Venkiah Naidu (BJP).

“We have nothing to do with the private dispute of two industries or industrialists. However, we have everything to do with protecting the interests of the government and public interest, this is our constitutional and legal obligation,” Deora said. He said the June 15 order of the Bombay High Court that directed RIL to supply one-third of KG-D6’s peak output to RNRL at US$2.34 per mmBtu as per the family MoU had bearing on Government’s gas utilisation policy.