Export of crude oil detrimental to national interest, Centre tells HC
The government contended this before Justice Manmohan while opposing UK-based Vedanta group company Cairn India’s plea for permission to export excess crude from its Barmer oil field in Rajasthan. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said it was a part of the government policy not to permit export of crude.
“All the natural resources are not only vested in the Government of India but it has to be used for the government of India,” he said, adding, “they (Cairn India) can earn profit by selling crude within the country.” To this, the counsel appearing for Cairn India said they are ready to sell crude within India provided they get the benchmark price. During the hearing, the court asked the ASG, “There has to be some benefit to the government at the end of the day.”
“You (ASG) will have to show me that either government is benefited or there is public interest. You are not showing me this. You will have to show it to the court,” it said. Responding to the court’s query, the ASG said that most of the Indian refineries were dependent on imported crude.