K-G gas pricing case: SC gives RIL 6 weeks to respond

The Supreme Court on Friday gave Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) six weeks to respond to an adverse report by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India on gas pricing from the Krishna-Godavari Basin off India's east coast, which is operated by RIL.

The SC also allowed the petitioners, including Communist Party of India leader Gurudas Dasgupta, to file a response on the government's new guidelines on gas pricing.

The CAG had pulled up Reliance Industries for charging a rate in excess of the government approved price for its KG-D6 gas field, and not including the marketing margin for calculating royalties and government's share.

The government had, in October 2007, set a sale price of $4.20 per million British thermal units based on the price discovered by RIL from key customers.

The CAG, in a draft report of audit of RIL's eastern offshore KG-D6 block spending, stated that the company charged $4.205 per mmBtu from consumers, leading to excess billing of $9.68 million.