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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ministers for protecting NTPC's interest in gas dispute

Law Minister Veerapa Moily today said there was no differences among ministers on the issue of protecting state-run NTPC's interest in the gas dispute between the Ambani brothers.

Moily said the informal group of ministers comprising Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and himself were one on filing government petition in the dispute as well as protecting NTPC's interest.

"Reports of differences among ministers is absolutely false. I say it categorically that it is absolutely false," he said here. "Someone is trying to create confusion," he said but did not elaborate. The government's petition in the Supreme Court to become party in the Ambani gas dispute was to protect its right in deciding on usage of the national resource in public interest.

Anil Ambani-led RNRL is seeking gas from Mukesh Ambani-run RIL at $2.34 per mmBtu as had been stated in a private family agreement that split the Dhirubhai Ambani empire in 2005.

The price, which is the same as the one RIL had bid in a 2004 gas supply tender of NTPC, was rejected by the government on the grounds that it was not arrived at through arms length basis.

Moily said differences among ministers on protecting NTPC's interest was a "media creation." "There is absolutely none and this is only media creation," he said. The government was likely to file an affidavit on NTPC issue in the Supreme Court today.

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