Reliance Industries has breached gas contract: Jairam Ramesh

November 11th, 2008 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Mumbai, Nov 11 (IANS) Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh Tuesday said Reliance Industries has breached the contract to supply natural gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin to state-run NTPC.NTPC, formerly National Thermal Power Corp, had floated a global tender for supply of gas, based on which a letter of intent was issued to Reliance Industries, which agreed to supply the hydrocarbon at the mutually-agreed price, the minister said.

“As far as NTPC is concerned, RIL is in breach of contract.”

His comments came even as the Bombay High Court, which is hearing two cases related with Reliance Industries’ gas, Tuesday directed the government counsel to file a statement if there was an official policy on pricing of natural gas.

The next hearing has been fixed for Nov 14.

One of the two cases heard Tuesday pertains to the dispute between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and his younger brother Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources over the supply of gas supply from Krishna Godavari G-D6 block.

NTPC filed the petition against Reliance Industries seeking 12 million cubic metres of gas per day after the two entities purportedly failed reach a sales agreement over issues such as liability in case of default.

Last month, the court had said it had no issues in allowing the government to be a party to the matter between companies controlled by the two Ambani brothers while hearing the dispute.

The Anil Ambani group has claimed at least half of the 80 million standard cubic metres of gas per day envisaged from the fields off the Andhra Pradesh coast - said to be the country’s biggest source of hydrocarbons today.

The group had told the court that under a family pact, the gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin was to be given to it on the same terms as that for the state-run NTPC.

The family pact records the arrangement between Anil and Mukesh Ambani as part of the demerger scheme of the Reliance group founded by their father Dhirubhai Ambani, and also notes what needed to be done in future.

In a related development, the Supreme Court had Monday refused permission to a Pune-based lawyer B.A. Aloor, who had sought to intervene in the dispute between the two companies - a stand similar to the one taken by the Bombay High Court earlier.

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