Scrap RIL gas deal, Dasgupta tells prime minister

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a letter to initiate proceedings to terminate the profit-sharing contract (PSC) with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on the KG-D6 block, accusing the Mukesh Ambani-led company of “wilful default”.

Quoting a recent resolution of the joint management committee, he alleged: “RIL has been in wilful default of the PSC for more than three years. In the meanwhile, (gas) production has fallen to an abysmal level of 9 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic metre per day) against the approved level of 80 mmscmd, a shortfall of almost 90 per cent.”

Dasgupta added that there was no need for appointing international experts, as demanded by RIL and also supported by Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily, to ascertain the reasons for the sharp fall in natural gas production from the KG-D6 fields. The CPI leader said Moily’s suggestion was “at complete variance with the decision of the officials in the management committee meeting”.

“It appears that the petroleum minister has made it a habit to overrule the senior officers of his ministry. I would, therefore, request you to direct the Petroleum Ministry to begin proceedings for termination of the KG-D6 block for wilful default by RIL and taking over of the block by the government,” wrote Dasgupta. He also claimed that the private oil major had “refused to drill wells as directed by the government to shore up production.”

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