Don’t succumb to RIL, CPI-M tells government


New Delhi : The CPI-M Thursday asked the government not to increase the price of gas produced from the KG basin fields as demanded by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).

Support TwoCircles

“The prime minister and the UPA government should not increase the price of natural gas prematurely as demanded by the RIL,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist said in a statement.

“Price revision is due only in April 2014. The RIL’s demand for reimbursement for increased capital expenditure should not be accepted,” it said.

“There has to be a performance audit by the CAG of the capital expenditure incurred and the production targets met by the RIL,” it said.

The CPI-M statement came a day after India Against Corruption leader Arvind Kejriwal accused the government of succumbing to the RIL and asked for the scrapping of the RIL KG basin deal.

The CPI-M made no reference to Kejriwal and said it had been raising the issues for years.

“Since 2006, CPI-M MPs have been raising the question of the unjustified hike in the gas price, inflated expenditure shown by the RIL and the impact of gold plating (artificial increase in cost) on the price of gas which is also a major input in power and fertilizer.”

It said the office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, however, intervened to see that RIL’s demand “is considered by the (petroleum) ministry even after the ministry had rejected it.

“It is in this context that the shifting out of S. Jaipal Reddy from the petroleum and natural gas ministry raises disturbing questions. Here is a brazen instance of how pressure from the biggest corporate in India has worked,” it said.

“The new minister for petroleum has already gone on record that quick decisions would be taken to ensure energy security,” it said. “Moves are on to concede to the RIL’s demands.

“The whole country is watching to see the outcome. Any step to render undue benefit to the RIL at the expense of the people’s interest cannot be accepted.”