Role Of all stake­hold­ers un­der scan­ner

Resource Digest - - RESOURCE DIGEST -

The gov­ern­ment is look­ing into the role played by all stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing oil min­istry of­fi­cials and executives at Oil and Nat­u­ral Gas Corp (ONGC), in the past with re­spect to the gas mi­gra­tion dis­pute be­tween the state firm and Reliance In­dus­tries, oil min­is­ter Dhar­men­dra Prad­han has said.

“There must be clar­ity on the is­sue. All the stake­hold­ers should be looked into as to what role they had in those days,” Prad­han told a news con­fer­ence, re­spond­ing to a query on whether the role of of­fi­cials at Direc­torate Gen­eral of Hy­dro­car­bons (DGH) and ONGC was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated. An “in­ter­nal as­sess­ment” was un­der­way in this re­gard and the find­ings will be made pub­lic, Prad­han said.

Last year, the gov­ern­ment had set up a panel, headed by for­mer Delhi High Court chief jus­tice A P Shah, to look into the gas dis­pute be­tween Reliance In­dus­tries and ONGC and “to con­sider the acts of omis­sions and com­mis­sions, if any, on part of the stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing Reliance, ONGC, DGH and gov­ern­ment and give rec­om­men­da­tions on them”.

Two months ago, the Shah panel sub­mit­ted its re­port, stat­ing that RIL had un­justly gained by pro­duc­ing gas that didn't be­long to the com­pany and must re­turn the ben­e­fit to the gov­ern­ment. The gov­ern­ment ac­cepted the en­tire re­port and asked Reliance In­dus­tries and its part­ners BP Plc and Niko Re­sources to pay about `10,000 crore, or $1.55 bil­lion. In re­sponse, Reliance In­dus­tries said it would is­sue a no­tice of ar­bi­tra­tion against the gov­ern­ment or­der.

The Shah panel had said the gov­ern­ment alone could seek com­pen­sa­tion, not ONGC, the orig­i­nal pe­ti­tioner in the case.

Prad­han said the gov­ern­ment was just fol­low­ing the law by seek­ing com­pen­sa­tion as the law is very clear on this.

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