Friday, August 7, 2009

Now Reliance Industries speaks on gas dispute

Breaking its silence on the ongoing dispute with the Anil Ambani group over gas from Krishna-Godavari basin, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Friday said it will comment on the matter only in the court.

"Our legal advisors have counselled us to refrain from commenting on the issue," said Atul Chandra, president of the petroleum business with Reliance Industries, while reading out a written statement before reporters here.

"We emphatically refute and outrightly reject the baseless and motivated allegations and insinuations made by Anil Ambani and his associates against Reliance Industries and its chairman Mukesh Ambani," Chandra said.

The comments came after a series of charges levelled by the Anil Ambani group, ranging from the manner in which the capital expenditure for the Krishna-Godavari basin was approved and how a valid contract was flouted.

In June, the Bombay High Court had directed Reliance Industries to supply 28 million units of gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin to Anil Ambani's Reliance Natural Resources for 17 years at $2.34 per unit after assigning 12 million units to a state-run power utility NTPC.

But Reliance Industries challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court, which heard the case July 20 and fixed Sep 1 as the next date of hearing. It also asked all parties to file their replies on the government position on the matter by then.

Since then, the matter has figured on several occasions in parliament, even as the Anil Ambani group made its stand on the issue public, besides seeking to bring out the facts and figures on the matter.

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