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Arvind Kejriwal `surprised` at Central govt`s decision to impose penalty on Reliance

By Tarun Khanna | Last Updated: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 19:55

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Surprised to find that the Central government had slapped an additional penalty of USD 579 million on Reliance Industries for producing less than targeted natural gas from its KG-D6 block, Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Monday raised doubts on what made Modi government take such a step.

In a series of tweets on the micro-blogging site Twitter, Kejriwal wrote that he was taken by surprise to know that Modi government has imposed a penalty on Reliance.

The former Delhi chief minister also tweeted some copies of note sheet which say that anti-corruption branch of Delhi had issued notice to Central government on June 02, 2014 wherein it had asked the Centre if any penalty notices had been issued to Reliance for under production?

“Has penalty been imposed on Reliance by Central government officials to save their skin?” asked Kejriwal.

He further went on to write that during the AAP regime in Delhi, the party had filed an FIR against Mukesh Ambani and others in this case and the then Congress government had challenged it in Delhi High Court.

The Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that an additional penalty of USD 579 million has been imposed on Reliance Industries for producing less than targeted natural gas from its KG-D6 block.

With this, the total penalty on RIL for missing the target in four fiscal years beginning April 1, 2010 now stands at a cumulative USD 2.376 billion, the Minister informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The penalty is in the form of disallowing costs incurred. The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) allows RIL and its partners BP Plc and Niko Resources to deduct all capital and operating expenses from the sale of gas before sharing profit with the government.

In a written reply to a question, Pradhan said gas output from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas field in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block was supposed to be 80 million standard cubic meters per day but actual production was only 35.33 mmscmd in 2011-12, 20.88 mmscmd in 2012-13 and 9.77 mmscmd in 2013-14.

This year the output has been only 8.05 mmscmd.

His ministry on July 10 issued a notice disallowing USD 579 million in cost for output lagging targets in 2013-14.

The government had previously issued a notice to RIL disallowing a total of USD 1.797 billion in costs for falling short of production during 2010-11 (USD 457 million), 2011-12 (USD 548 million) and 2012-13 (USD 792 million).

Pradhan said the issue is currently under arbitration.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Monday, July 14, 2014 - 19:55

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