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Now, fertiliser ministry wants gas at cheap rate

business Updated: Aug 31, 2009 21:47 IST
Anupama Airy

In a completely new twist to the ongoing Ambani brothers imbroglio over gas, the fertiliser ministry has now told the petroleum ministry that the price of KG-D6 gas for the fertiliser sector should be the minimum and “cannot be more than the price at which gas is given to either private or public sector”.

In other words, the fertiliser ministry has conveyed to the petroleum ministry that if gas to Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) or NTPC is given at $2.34 (Rs 114) per unit —against the government’s approved price of $4.20 (Rs 205) — the same price should be applicable for the fertiliser sector.

“Taking into account the legitimate concerns of the farmers and related food security issues, the government through a conscious decision has accorded the highest priority to the fertiliser sector for allocation of gas,” fertiliser secretary Atul Chaturvedi wrote in a letter to petroleum secretary R.S. Pandey.

Quoting the stand taken by the Fertiliser Association of India before the Supreme Court, Chaturvedi told Pandey that in order to operationalise the priority, the price of gas for fertiliser sector cannot be more than the price at which the gas is given to either a private party or to a public sector unit irrespective of the manner in which it has been arrived at.