Petroleum Minister Murli Deora on Thursday ruled out a government takeover of the distribution of Krishna-Godavari gas, over which the Anil Ambani group is fighting a bitter legal battle with elder brother Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries.
"The old days of nationalisation are gone," Deora told the Rajya Sabha during a calling attention motion after some members, led by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Tapan Kumar Sen, suggested a state takeover of the gas distribution.
Reliance Industries started production of gas at the offshore block, off the coast of Andhra Pradesh, in April with 31 million units a day, which is slated to go up to as much as 80 million units within a year.
Last month, the Bombay High Court had asked Reliance Industries to supply 28 million units of gas from the fields to Reliance Natural Resources for 17 years at $2.34 per unit after assigning 12 million units to a state-run power utility NTPC.
But Reliance Industries challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court, which heard the case July 20 and fixed Sep 1 as the next date of hearing. It also asked all parties to file their replies on the government position on the matter by then.