Role Of all stakeholders under scanner
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.