CPI asks govt to revisit decision to hike gas prices

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta asked the government to revisit the recent decision to hike gas prices.

New Delhi: CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta on Thursday asked the government to revisit the recent decision to hike gas prices and "clear the air of suspicion" that the move was undertaken to benefit a corporate house "undermining national interests".

"If the cost per unit (of natural gas) is only USD 2.74, then how the Rangarajan Committee has come to the conclusion that it should be USD 8.4 per unit to be given to the contractor. Evidently, it is lack of due diligence."

"The next question that arises is how the Cabinet had approved the price almost four times the cost so hurriedly," Dasgupta said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He urged Singh to revisit the question of natural gas pricing for Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and "clear the air of suspicion that the government had only acted to benefit the corporate giant undermining national interest."

Maintaining that "no governmental agency" had clarified the issue of per unit cost of production in RIL`s KG-6 Basin, Dasgupta said only earlier this month, the Petroleum Ministry while replying to a question of the Standing Committee "has officially admitted that ..... The cost of production, including the levies, works out to USD 2.74 MMBTU."

The Ministry arrived at the figure after computing the data from the financial statement of the Company for 2011-12 on the projected level of production, the CPI leader said.


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