Odisha Govt responsible for Posco uncertainty: Pradhan
Holding the Odisha Government responsible for the uncertainty shrouding the Rs 52,000 crore Posco steel plant, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said the BJD regime failed to take steps for providing iron ore mines for the mega project well in time.
“The proposed steel project of Posco has failed to take off so far as Odisha Government failed to take appropriate steps for making available mines for the plant for which MoU was signed way back in 2005,” Pradhan told reporters here. Claiming that recommendation of iron ore mines for the project was sent just three days before the new MMDR Act came into being, the Union Minister said that by then it was clear that mines would be allocated through auction route following modifications in the law.
Under such circumstances, it was not possible for the Centre to allocate mines for Posco as the government would have been questioned for such a move, Pradhan said. He said the Naveen Patnaik government was in a habit of dashing letters to the <g data-gr-id="25">Centre,</g> but did not bother to send a proper recommendation for mines for Posco plant in time. “Why did not the state government send a letter for mines two years ago?” he asked.
He asked the state government not to blame others to hide its inefficiency which led to uncertainty over the project. He said the state government also failed to renew the MoU after the one signed in 2005 lapsed in 2010. The BJP leader said his party favours investment <g data-gr-id="30">and therefore</g> wants Posco project. Pradhan said BJP was still optimistic about Posco, the biggest FDI project in the country, and the Centre ready to extend all necessary cooperation to the state in this regard. Senior BJD leader Pratap Keshari Deb, however, refuted the allegations levelled by Pradhan and said several recommendations were sent long back to the Central government for mines for the project.
Gas price pooling for urea units to be effective from July 1
Gas price pooling to make available feedstock fuel to urea making fertiliser plants at a uniform rate will come into effect from July 1, the Oil Ministry said. Under the plan, <g data-gr-id="81">price</g> of cheaper domestic gas will be averaged or pooled with <g data-gr-id="82">cost</g> of expensive imported LNG to create a uniform rate for fertiliser plants. Fertiliser plants consume about 42.25 million standard cubic <g data-gr-id="80">meters</g> per day of gas for <g data-gr-id="79">manufacture</g> of subsidised urea. Out of this, 26.50 <g data-gr-id="83">mmscmd</g> comes from domestic fields and the rest 15.75 <g data-gr-id="84">mmscmd</g> is imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). The $4.66 per million British thermal unit price of domestic gas is half the cost of LNG.
“The domestic gas will be pooled with <g data-gr-id="71">re-gasified</g> liquefied natural gas (R-LNG) to provide natural gas at uniform delivered price to all <g data-gr-id="70">naturla</g> gas grid connected urea manufacturing plants for the purpose of manufacturing urea,” a ministry order said. “This pooling mechanism will come <g data-gr-id="72">in to</g> effect from July 1, 2015.” State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd has been designated as pool operator for this pooling.