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Nothing to do with Ambanis' dispute; will protect gas: Govt

india Updated: Aug 03, 2009 16:05 IST

Asserting that it had no role in the Ambani family dispute, the Government on Monday declared in Parliament that it will do everything to protect its legal right to regulate usage of gas.

"We have nothing to do with the private dispute of two industries or industrialists. However, we have everything to do with protecting the interests of the government and public interest, this is our constitutional and legal obligation," Oil Minister Murli Deora said in Lok Sabha.

Making a statement in response to allegations by Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav that Uttar
Pradesh was being discriminated against, Deora said Anil Ambani group's proposed Dadri power plant would be considered
for gas along with other such projects.

Anil Ambani group firm RNRL's Dadri power plant "is neither installed nor functional," he said, adding that it
would treated "on the same footing as other similar plants."

Not satisfied, SP members rushed to the well of the House creating a din, but Speaker Meira Kumar continued with the
day's business that saw introduction of a few bills before the House was adjourned for lunch.

Deora said that the MoU between Mukesh and Anil Ambaninot only stipulated sharing of gas between companies run by
them from KG-D6 fields, but also from other fields that RIL may explore and operate in the future, thus necessitatinggovernment's petition in Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court decision.

"The final order of the Bombay High Court has implications on government's rights to formulate and implement the gas utilisation policy under the Production Sharing Contract (PSC)," Deora said, explaining why the government had to move Supreme Court against the High Court order.

"Notwithstanding government policies and provisions of the PSC, the order observes that the provision of (Ambani) MoU are binding on the parties," he said.

The Ambani MoU, he said, provides for 12 mmscmd for NTPC, 28 mmscmd to RNRL and the remaining gas from KG-D6 and also other fields to be split between RIL-RNRL in 60:40 ratio.

"Under the circumstances, it was necessary to file an SLP in the Supreme Court and accordingly action has been taken," he said, refusing to give details as the matter was subjudice.

Rejecting contentions that the Government did not argue its case before the Bombay High Court that initially heard the gas dispute between the two brothers, he said it was on the Government's plea that the court lifted stay on gas sales.

"Government placed before the court its submissions indicating its right under the PSC, including inter-alia the gas utilisation policy," he said.

Citing the PSC, he said gas to be produced from KG-D6 fields is to be utilised in accordance with the Gas Utilisation Policy to be approved by the government.

"We will make all endeavours to protect government's legal rights to regulate the utilisation of gas and its allocation," Deora said.