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Power, petroleum ministries again clash on gas price

The divide within the government on the pricing of gas produced from the Krishna Godavari basin gas fields of Reliance Industries Ltd is once again out in the open.

business Updated: Mar 09, 2010 22:47 IST
HT Correspondent

The divide within the government on the pricing of gas produced from the Krishna Godavari basin gas fields of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is once again out in the open.

The power ministry has charged that the ministry of petroleum and natural gas has reneged on its commitment to seek necessary directions to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to supply gas to the state-owned NTPC at $2.34 (Rs 107) per unit as against the government-approved gas price of $4.2(Rs 193) per unit.

“We had discussions at the residence of the Solicitor General of India during the briefing of RIL-NTPC case….it was deliberated and agreed that the ministry of petroleum and natural gas will put up the proposal for allocation of 12 mmscmd gas to NTPC at the international competitive bidding price,” power secretary, H S Brahma wrote on March 3.

“On this understanding only, we (power ministry) had agreed to the language of the affidavit as proposed by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, filed in the Supreme Court (in the ongoing gas battle between the Ambani brothers) on December 1, 2009,” Brahma told petroleum secretary, S Sundaresan.

RIL and NTPC official refused to comment. Petroleum ministry officials said the ministry is not in favour of making an allocation before the High Court judgment, though Brahma’s letter claimed otherwise.

The government had told Supreme Court any decision in favour of NTPC, made in public interest, cannot be termed discriminatory or arbitrary.