NTPC to wait for panel report before moving SC

 
“NTPC will wait for the ministerial panel on gas to make up its mind before moving the Supreme Court on a gas supply dispute with Reliance Industries,” Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Friday, adding “while considering the whole situation, I think we have to wait the Group of Ministers take a final decision.”

NTPC and RIL are fighting in the Bombay High Court over a 2004 gas supply tender, which RIL had bagged with a winning bid of $2.34 per /mmBtu. RIL, however, contends that it has not concluded the contract and that government approval was needed for pricing gas. The NTPC is understood to have recently sought the advice of the Solicitor General and Attorney General on the matter. The two were of the view that NTPC should, to safeguard its interest, move the Supreme Court where government had moved a petition in a pricing-related case between RIL and RNRL.

Shinde indicated that another meeting of Group of Ministers on the gas issue would be convened soon. The group was primarily constituted to supervise the government’s stand on the gas litigation between the Ambani brothers’ group firms and that involving state power utility NTPC and RIL. Centre says that a unified stand was required as RIL could challenge its 2004 NTPC tender on the grounds that government’s stand on pricing would frustrate the deal.

Centre’s petition in Supreme Court asserts its rights on approving gas price and deciding its utilisation.

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