As many as 30 members of Parliament (MPs) of the Left parties, including Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, Basudeb Acharia, Prashant Chatterjee, D Raja and others, have demanded that the government should take over the marketing and distribution of gas produced by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to ensure that a “national asset” is not surreptitiously appropriated as “family property”.
In a July 27 letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the MPs said that the state-owned GAIL India Ltd should
be assigned the role of a nodal agency for marketing and distributing the gas from
RIL’s Krishna Godavari D6 basin.
“As gas is being produced in our own soil, there is absolutely no justification of pricing it on the basis of linkage with international price of an altogether different product like crude oil as has been done at present by making the gas price at $4.32 per unit,” the letter said.
“Hence the present gas price determined by the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) must be revised and it should be benchmarked to $2.34 per unit as offered to NTPC by RIL in 2004-05,” the letter added.
The Left leaders also said the government’s firm assertion through the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court should be followed up by appropriate executive action on proper distribution mechanism to make the gas available to priority sectors in the country.