No rethink on gas price hike: Moily

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SummaryThe government’s decision to double natural gas price will remain unchanged, oil minister M Veerappa Moily said despite the finance ministry pushing for maintaining old rates for some of the gas of Reliance Industries.

The government’s decision to double natural gas price will remain unchanged, oil minister M Veerappa Moily said despite the finance ministry pushing for maintaining old rates for some of the gas of Reliance Industries.

“There is no thinking on part of the government for any review or reconsideration of the decision of the CCEA. Let me make it very clear. There is no confusion, there is no vagueness. And I don’t think there is scope for any interpretation whatsoever,” Moily told a news conference here.

Finance ministry on July 4 wrote to oil ministry asking it to take appropriate action on suggestions made in two media reports for putting a cap up to which rates can be raised, and RIL being forced to sell the quantity it had committed but failed to deliver in past three years at old rate of $4.2.

“The office memorandum dated July 4 from the department of expenditure, ministry of finance... has enclosed two editorials of the newspapers and illustrated some of the issues in these editorials. That cannot be taken as objective opinion of ministry of finance. It cannot (also) be considered as query raised by finance ministry,” Moily said. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had on June 27 approved pricing of domestic gas at an average of cost of imported LNG into India and international hub rates. The price of gas when this formula comes into effect on April 1 could come to about $8.4 per million British thermal unit. Moily said his ministry had taken opinion of finance ministry twice and it was incorporated in the note.

“I don’t think there is another interpretation open to it. It has been done after due deliberation and I think it has taken lot of time and once considered view has been taken, we will stick to that,” Moily said.

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