Power Secretary HS Brahma has again urged his counterpart in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to release gas to NTPC at the international competitive bidding (ICB) rate of $2.34 per mmbtu,this time on the legal backbone of an affidavit filed in Supreme Court in December. In a letter dated March 3,2010,Brahma insisted that Secretary,Petroleum and Natural Gas,S Sundareshan allocate 12 mmscmd of gas to NTPC immediately,without waiting for further resolution of the RIL-NTPC proceedings in the Bombay High Court.
The March 3 letter followed a similar statement from Brahma on January 28,2010,according to the letter which read,It was deliberated and agreed that Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas will put up the proposal for allocation of 12 mmscmd of gas to NTPC at the ICB discovered price.
Citing the December 1,2009 affidavit,the power secretary requested that Sundareshan move an Empowered Group of Ministers note for allocation. It is submitted that a decision in respect of NTPC will be taken as and when… the rights of NTPC get established in the pending suit; or… factors of overriding public interest warrant any governmental intervention, reads the affidavit.
Reliance Power officials released the letter and affidavit to media outlets on Tuesday behind the premise that the company should illustrate the governments position which supports the $2.34 cost for gas over the next decade. What were trying to bring out is the role the government is playing; the government is helping a private company at the cost of a (public sector undertaking), said a Reliance Power source under a condition of anonymity.