Amar Singh wants export unit status for Reliance refinery denied

October 8th, 2008 - 6:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh Wednesday asked Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to withdraw export-oriented unit status for the new Jamnagar refinery of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, saying the exchequer will stand to lose revenues otherwise.”I am surprised a domestic refinery was overnight converted into an SEZ by a designated authority,” Amar Singh told reporters here after meeting the finance minister, referring to the unit that will have the capacity to process 580,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

“The government is short of revenues and is raising money through bonds, yet giving tax advantages,” said the outspoken leader who is known to be a friend of Anil Ambani, the younger brother of Mukesh.

“The views of the finance minister are well known on SEZ policy and I should not say anything more on this,” he said, adding further that he was not pitching for Anil Ambani, who is fighting a bitter corporate battle with his elder brother.

The Samajwadi Party leader has been maintaining that the government’s policies on special economic zones and export-oriented units were flawed and selectively favoured some corporate houses.

He said he will take up this issue during the next meeting of the coordination committee set up with members of his party and the Congress, emphasising that if one corporate house is denied export unit status how can another get the same.

Reliance Industries hopes to start operating its new refinery at Jamnagar by the end of November. It is located right next to an existing 660,000 barrels a day unit to make it the biggest such refinery complex in the world.

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