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Rediff.com  » Business » AAP is mistaken, Ambani doesn't run the govt: Chidambaram

AAP is mistaken, Ambani doesn't run the govt: Chidambaram

February 18, 2014 17:09 IST

AAP is mistaken, Ambani doesn't run the govt: Chidambaram

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Rebutting the Aam Aadmi Party charge that Mukesh Ambani runs United Progressive Alliance government, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said huge penalties have been imposed on Reliance Industries for producing less than committed gas.

Bank guarantees will be taken before allowing any price hike Chidambaram added. The finance minister called the first information report registerd by the AAP government against Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily and others for raising gas prices as ‘laughable’.

He was part of the decision-makers who allowed all domestic natural gas producers, including Reliance Industries Limited, to almost double the natural gas prices from April.

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Image: Mukesh Ambani.
Photographs: Reuters

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AAP is mistaken, Ambani doesn't run the govt: Chidambaram

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"These are throwaway lines which do not deserve to be replied to," he told PTI in an interview when asked about charge levied by Kejriwal and his party that Ambani ran the government.

"The Petroleum Ministry has imposed a huge penalty on RIL.

“The Petroleum Ministry has required them to furnish a bank guarantee for the undelivered quanity of gas  pending the issue of price rise. So, how can anyone say that this government is run by business man," he said.

The government has imposed about $1.8 billion penalty on RIL for natural gas output from its main fields in Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block falling short of the targets during the last three years.

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Image: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.
Photographs: Reuters

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AAP is mistaken, Ambani doesn't run the govt: Chidambaram

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On top of this, the company has been asked to give bank guarantees equal to the incremental price it will get from April 1.

This bank guarantee will be encashed if it is proved that RIL's reasoning of water and sand ingress coupled with sudden drop in reservior pressure leading to KG-D6 output drop are proved wrong.

Chidambaram said the government will not go back on its decision to raise gas prices for both public sector and private producers from April 1.

"Mr Moily has said that the decision of Cabinet will be given effect on April 1. That's the government's position and I think Mr Moily is right," he said.

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Image: A worker at a gas plant.
Photographs: Reuters

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The new rates, which are likely to be at $8-8.4 against the current price of $4.2 per million British thermal unit, are based on the recommendations of a committee that was appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the request of Moily's predecessor, S Jaipal Reddy.

Days before he quit as Delhi Chief Minister, Kejriwal ordered filing of a police complaint against Moily, RIL and its Chairman Ambani for creating an artificial shortage of gas in the country and raising prices.

"Now, what is the status of FIR, I don't know. I think it is a laughable FIR. If an FIR is being registered, it would be a laughable FIR," Chidambaram added.

Moily himself had termed the lodging of the FIR as unconstitutional and against the principles of federalism.


Image: P Chidambaram.
Photographs: Reuters

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