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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Govt debunks Anil Ambani group claims; campaign 'unfortunate'

PTI  New Delhi, August 21, 2009
First Published: 20:06 IST(21/8/2009) | Last Updated: 20:09 IST(21/8/2009)

Dubbing as 'most unfortunate' the advertisement campaign against it by the Anil Ambani group, the government on Friday hit back saying the propaganda was unleashed on a sub-judice matter.

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Countering the claims made by Anil Ambani group that the government stood to lose because of the Petroleum Ministry's connivance with Mukesh Ambani-led RIL on the gas issue, an official statement said the Centre would earn Rs. 84,000 crore from KG-D6 gas fields and not just Rs. 500 crore as projected in the campaign.

Committing itself to uphold the rule of law, the government said that it cannot enter into "needless and unnecessary controversies".

Fighting a bitter battle to get gas from RIL at a committed price of $2.34 per mmBtu for RNRL, Anil Ambani group had on last Monday started a front-page ad campaign in almost all the national dailies, questioning the Oil Ministry's role on the gas issue and alleging that it was going out of the way to help RIL earn a super-normal profit of Rs. 50,000 crore.

Reacting to it, the government said that its statement on Friday was "to correct the ongoing propaganda against the government in matters, some of which are subjudice."

A decision to issue the statement was taken by a group of ministers last night at a meeting that was attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Oil Minister Murli Deora, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Law Minister Veerappa Moily.

The official statement also stated that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was committed to protecting by all means the interests of state power utility NTPC, which the Anil Ambani group has claimed would lose Rs. 30,000 crore due to the position taken by the Oil Ministry.

NTPC is embroiled in a separate legal battle with RIL for securing gas at a similar pre-committed price of $2.34 per mmBtu, although the government subsequently approved $4.2 per mmBtu as price for gas from KG-D6 fields.


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