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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 19, 2013
A day after Left veteran Gurudas Dasgupta shot his third letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking oil minister Veerappa Moily's removal, the minister hit back accusing Dasgupta of acting upon vested interest to derail key policy decisions.

Moily not only termed Dasgupta's allegations-of favouring Reliance Industries Ltd -- as "baseless and malicious," he accused Dasgupta of trying to block attempts to make the sector perform efficiently and reduce India's oil import bill of a whopping $160 billion.

Dasgupta had accused Moily of trying to raise gas prices to favour the RIL in KG Basin exploration.

He also alleged that Moily was trying to stall an arbitration process that was looking into Reliance's failure to meet the target in gas production.

Moily, however, said on Wednesday, "No decision regarding this pending arbitration proceeding was ever sought" from him and "a perusal of the relevant file reveals that the file has not been dealt with by anyone in this Ministry after December 17, 2012."

The oil minister also refuted allegations that he is overlooking the CAG's recommendation where the auditor said that RIL should be asked to return a part of the gas-block.

He said that the related file is yet to be submitted and so the question of defying the CAG doesn't arise.