PM pro-RIL, failed NTPC: IAC

In its third expose on Wednesday, India Against Corruption (IAC) also raised the issue of helplessness of government owned National Thermal Power Corporation before the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).

IAC alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showed sympathy to RIL, not to NTPC.

“RIL signed a contract with NTPC in 2004 to supply gas for its power plants at $ 2.34 per unit for 17 years. It signed a similar contract with RNRL (Anil Ambani owned Reliance Natural Resources Limited) to supply gas at $ 2.34 per unit. However, RIL went back on its word. Under pressure from RIL, EGOM (Empowered Group of Ministers) headed by Pranab Mukherjee, revised gas price in September 2007 to $ 4.2 per unit.  NTPC and RNRL were forced to accept gas from RIL at revised price,” IAC activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan said.

They alleged that the Prime Minister asked Petroleum Ministry to seek Attorney General’s opinion whether RIL’s request for increase in gas prices could be increased from $ 4.2 to $ 14.2 per unit before 2014. The PM did it even after this was turned down by Ministry of Petroleum under Jaipal Reddy and EGOM several times in the last 2 years, they said.

EGOM had fixed $ 4.2 per unit price for RIL upto March 31, 2014. When Jaipal Reddy did not budge, RIL approached the PM, who was sympathetic to RIL and requested Ministry of Petroleum to seek AG’s opinion, the anti-graft leaders alleged.
  “Why was the Prime Minister not pulling up RIL for not producing 80 Million Metric Standard Cubic Metre Per Day [mmscmd] gas as per the agreement? Why did the Prime Minister not seek the Attorney-General’s opinion when the country’s interests were at stake and RIL went back on its commitment to supply gas to NTPC at $2.4 per Million Metric British Thermal Units? Why was the Prime Minister showing so much interest when RIL’s interests were at stake?” they asked.

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