Moily working for Essar, Reliance: AAP

Moily working for Essar, Reliance: AAP

Senior Aam Aadmi Party leader and eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday alleged  that Union and Oil Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily, in the midst of elections, is trying to handover Ratna oilfield near Bombay High to the Essar Group at a throwaway price.

“If it goes his way, the government will lose revenue to the tune of Rs 52,000 crore,” the AAP leader alleged. He also released documents to allege that Moily has moved a Cabinet note by overruling “the opinion of the Cabinet Secretary, Finance Ministry, Petroleum Secretary, Planning Commission and the earlier opinion of the Law Minister”. The lawyer says that “Moily is using the ambiguous opinion of the AG (Attorney General)” to achieve this. 

“In 1993, the Union government decided to give the Ratna oil field to the Essar Group. The Letter of Award was given to the company in 1996, but the contract was not signed,” Bhushan told a press conference.

“But in his last days in office Moily has asked his officers to prepare a Cabinet note on the issue and that the oil field contract should be given to Essar,”  he alleged.
“Despite Ministry officers warning of a huge loss of government revenue totalling $1.8 billion, Moily is going ahead with the move,” he added.

“Officers have pointed out that the Attorney General has opined that the Letter of Award does not create any right and the contract cannot be treated as concluded,” he pointed out.

Bhushan also alleged that a minister, who is in his last days of office, has also hurriedly moved a note to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to seek a relaxation for Reliance Industries Limited in D29, D30 and D31 gas basins. This has also been done just recently. He alleged that it may cause a huge loss of upto Rs 80,000 crore.

“The Director General of Hydrocarbons had said that since Reliance failed to show any kind of discovery, as per the contract, the basins should have been surrendered in 2012. Moily has sought amendment in the contract to benefit Reliance for which he moved a note with the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs,” he alleged.

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