Reliance Industries has refuted allegations by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that oil ministers Mani Shankar Aiyar and S Jaipal Reddy were removed because they did not favour the company, saying the comments were “factually incorrect”.
Terming as “malafide propaganda” AAP’s allegation that Aiyar had to go because he opposed RIL’s move to raise KG-D6 capital expenditure 2.5 times, the company said Aiyar left the oil ministry in January 2006 while the revised $8.8 billion field development plan was submitted in October 2006.
On allegations that Reddy was removed because he opposed higher gas prices for RIL, the company said, “It was Mr Jaipal Reddy (and not current oil minister M Veerappa Moily) who requested for the appointment of the Dr Rangarajan Committee in May 2012. It was on this committee’s recommendations, the CCEA approved the revised gas prices (from April 2014).”
The panel suggested that domestically produced gas should be priced at an average of global hub rates and the cost of importing liquid gas (LNG) into India. According to this formula, the price of gas is being increased to about $8 per unit in April. “The prices had to be revised not because of the elections but because the prevailing price formula ceases to be valid with effect from April 1, 2014,” RIL said.