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Ministry denies favouring RIL

The government on Thursday dismissed the allegation of favouring Reliance Industries Ltd in the award of the KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block, where subsequently 18 gas and one oil find was made. It said that way back in 2010, it had rejected the company's demand for a revision in gas price.

Terming India Against Corruption's (IAC) charges 'baseless and frivolous', the Oil Ministry in a six-page statement said that the Congress-led UPA-I and UPA-II governments under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have been 'consistently protecting the national interest'.

The ministry added, 'The Ministry is committed to upholding the rule of law and decisions are taken objectively without any fear or favour.... The system is not influenced or guided by the whims and fancies of any individual or group of individuals. The Ministry continues to function and take decisions with firmness, after due diligence and strict adherence to principles of transparency and probity,' it said.

The ministry said that under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) approved by the Government in 1997 and implemented by the BJP-led NDA government in 1999, areas like KG-D6 were offered for exploration through open international competitive bidding. 'The contract under NELP was modeled after production sharing contracts (PSC) prevalent in other developing countries.

The Commonwealth Secretariat provided consultancy during the design of the PSC document," it said, adding KG-D6 block was awarded to RIL and its Canadian partner Niko Resources through competitive bidding.

'The contract is a generic template and not specific to RIL,' the government claimed.
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