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Home News Power Sector News Andhra CM asks PM to end private monopoly on natural gas

Andhra CM asks PM to end private monopoly on natural gas

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KG-D6In the light of ongoing legal dispute between RIL and RNRL on the natural gas from K-G (Krishna Godavari) basin, Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take appropriate action to protect the rights of the Government over allocation and pricing of natural gas. Reddy urged the Prime Minister to ensure that Andhra Pradesh get at least 10 per cent of the gas allocation on preferential basis for industrial development.

The Chief Minister, in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister on July 4, urged the Centre to take over gas allocation and pricing on the ground that a strict interpretation of the NELP guidelines clearly bring out the fact that the Government continues to be the owner of the gas fields, while RIL was only a contractor.

On factual basis, no fair market discovery rate was possible as RIL enjoys the monopoly status. Natural gas to be supplied by RIL was capable of substituting naphtha for urea production, capable of power generation and substituting petrol and diesel as CNG, substituting LPG for domestic gas and furnace oil for industrial use. Thus, it has a wide range of applications.

“Only an impartial prioritisation of gas allocation on some rational basis by an independent agency like the Government of India can serve long-term national interest of people of the country.

Our concern is that such a valuable resource like natural gas cannot be allowed to be monopolized by a few private developers, defeating the spirit of the Directive Principles of State policy. Our argument was based on the principle that even diehard capitalists would ungrudgingly concede that a private monopoly is decidedly against public interest,’’ he observed.

He apprehended that the litigation between RIL and RNRL might take away the powers of EGoM (Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Pranab Mukherjee meant for addressing all issues relating to allocation and pricing of natural gas) unless it was properly defended in the Supreme Court.

Source - Indian Express


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