Government not acting partisan in RIL-RNRL row: Deora

The government is only interested in protecting its right to formulate policies on the utilisation of the country's natural resources and is least interested in becoming a party to private disputes, petroleum minister Murli Deora clarified in the Lok Sabha today.

Responding to the charges made by Anil Ambani of favouring Mukesh Ambani-led RIL, Deora said the government was not acting in any partisan manner and was only asserting its rights on the nation's oil and gas assets.

Murli Deora, petroleum minister"We have nothing to do with the private dispute of two industries or industrialists. However, we have everything to do with protecting the interests of the government and public interest; this is our constitutional and legal obligation. We will make all endeavours to protect government's legal rights to regulate the utilisation of gas and its allocation," the minister said.

"The final order of the Bombay high court has implications on government's rights to formulate and implement the gas utilisation policy under the Production Sharing Contract (PSC)," Deora said, explaining why the government had to move Supreme Court against the high court order.

"Notwithstanding government policies and provisions of the PSC, the order observes that the provision of (Ambani) MoU are binding on the parties," the minister pointed out.

Deora said the MoU between Mukesh and Anil Ambani not only stipulated sharing of gas between companies run by them from KG-D6 fields, but also from other fields that RIL may explore and operate in the future, thus necessitating government's petition in Supreme Court challenging the Bombay high court decision.