PM to com­mence Barmer re­fin­ery project next week


NEW DELHI: Dis­miss­ing the as­ser­tion of former Rajasthan Chief Min­is­ter Ashok Gehlot on the up­com­ing Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi's visit to Barmer to lay foun­da­tion stone for an oil re­fin­ery plant, Union Petroleum Min­is­ter Dhar­men­dra Prad­han on Tues­day said that no phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties on the ground were ini­ti­ated on the project dur­ing the pre­vi­ous Con­gress rule.

While stat­ing that the re­fin­ery project was ap­proved by the Cen­tre in 2013 and the foun­da­tion stone was laid by then Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh and former Con­gress pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi, Prad­han said that 4800 acre of land was al­lot­ted for the project with­out any lease deed be­ing ex­e­cuted. Even ‘En­vi­ron­ment clear­ance' was not ob­tained, he added.

“For the first time seven re­finer­ies and petro­chem­i­cal com­plexes are about to be­gin their func­tions in In­dia and will go on floor from Jan­uary 16, with all clear­ances and ten­ders,” Prad­han fur­ther added.

A joint ven­ture agree­ment was signed be­tween the Rajasthan govern­ment (26 per cent) and HPCL (74 per cent) last year.

Sources said ear­lier it was ex­pected to be sched­uled in the month of De­cem­ber of 2017, how­ever, due to Lok Sabha by­elec­tions in Al­war and Ajmer the oc­ca­sion has been post­poned to this month.

Ear­lier, IRR of the project was 6.32 and now it has been im­proved to 12.2 per cent. This re­sulted in re­duc­ing the fi­nan­cial bur­den on the Rajasthan govern­ment from Rs. 56,040 crore to Rs. 16, 845 crore, Petroleum Min­is­ter fur­ther added.

Mean­while, the cen­tre also feels that the oil re­finer­ies in the west coast in both Rajasthan and Ma­ha­rash­tra will add an­other 120 mil­lion met­ric ton re­fin­ing ca­pac­ity in the next seven years. This re­fin­ery project will also gen­er­ate more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties— 40000 in­di­rect dur­ing peak con­struc­tion pe­riod and 1000 di­rect em­ploy­ment, a min­istry release men­tioned.

“It will en­hance the down­stream in­dus­tries based on petro­chem­i­cals and An­cil­lary Sup­port In­dus­tries,” the min­is­ter also said.

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