CPI demands Moily's resignation

The CPI today sought the resignation of Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily and a high- level probe into the ministry's proposal to hike natural gas prices, alleging that such a move would subvert national interests and favour a big corporate house.

"This is a serious matter subverting the national interests of the country in order to favour a big corporate house. The CPI therefore demands that a high level inquiry,
preferably by a Supreme Court judge, should be instituted and that Moily should resign," the party Central Secretariat said in a statement here.

It said that senior CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta had "effectively exposed" Moily's moves "to shower a huge bonanza of windfall profit to Reliance".

The party backed Dasgupta's charges about decline in production leading to a loss of Rs 1.1 lakh crore, saying this happened "with the full knowledge and connivance of the Petroleum Minister. Further, he is recommending a price for the gas to be paid to Reliance which is substantially higher than that recommended by Rangarajan committee and high officials of his own Ministry".

The statement came on a day when the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs deferred a decision on the proposal to hike natural gas prices by a steep 60 per cent.

Moily's proposal to raise gas prices to USD 6.775 million British thermal unit (mmBtu) from current USD 4.2 mmBtu, which would result in a steep rise in electricity tariff, urea manufacturing cost as well as CNG rates, was listed for consideration of CCEA.

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