SC may hear plea on pricing of natural gas


New Delhi: The Supreme Court is likely to hear Monday a petition seeking the quashing of a government pricing policy which allegedly gives cheaper natural gas to industry as compared to domestic consumers who use it for cooking.

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Petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma has presented his own calculation to claim that the present rate of supply of natural gas to industry was Rs.0.0075 per litre.

He sought the quashing of the pricing policy under which natural gas was allegedly being sold to industries at Rs.0.0075 per litre while the same gas and its by-product propane (liquefied petroleum gas) was being sold at more than Rs.71 per litre to domestic consumers.

Sharma also sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged irregularity.

The petition sought direction to the central government to supply natural gas and propane to people at the price at which it was being supplied to industry and others.

He claimed the natural gas rate for the industry came into force in May 2010 and it was much less before that.

Sharma said “while distributing natural resources, the state is bound to act in consonance with the principles of equality and public trust and ensure that no action is taken which may be detrimental to public interest”.

The government has compelled the general public to pay more “providing extra benefit to the oil companies. It is a serious fraud with the general public”.