Gas price hiked to suit Reliance Industries: CPI-M

"This doubling of the price in the administered price mechanism has been done to bring it in line with the price approved by the government for the gas produced by the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)," it said in a statement.

"The government decision seems motivated to ensure a market for RIL's gas since the lower priced gas of the public sector enterprises would have been more attractive for the power and fertilizer producers," the statement said.

"The benefits accruing to one corporate group seems more important for the government than public interest," the statement added, in an obvious reference to the natural gas to be sold by RIL from the Krishna-Godavari basin, off the Andhra Pradesh coast.
"By this step, additional burden of Rs.8,000 crore will be passed on to the consumers of power and fertilizers. The transport industry using CNG will also be affected," said the party, adding the move has come at a time of high inflation and price rise.

The statement also comes against the backdrop of the oil ministry declining the plea by Anil Ambani-led Reliance Natural Resources to obtain 28 million units of gas per day for 17 years from Reliance Industries at $2.34 per unit, based on a family agreement.

The Supreme Court had then ruled that Anil Ambani-led Reliance Natural Resources and his elder brother Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries should re-negotiate the gas purchase agreement and revert to the Company Bench of the Bombay High Court.
The case, one of the most-followed legal battles in India, was heard by a three-member bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice P. Sathasivam.

At the core of the dispute was the validity of the agreement reached between the two brothers -- and blessed by their mother Kokilabehn -- at the time of the de-merger of the erstwhile Reliance Group in June 2005.

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