New Delhi: Power PSU NTPC will wait for a ministerial panel on gas to make up its mind before moving the Supreme Court on a gas supply dispute with Reliance Industries, power minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Friday.
“Today, while considering the the whole situation, I think we have to wait till meeting (of gas panel) is over,” he told reporters indicating that the PSU was no in hurry to drag RIL to the Supreme Court.
NTPC and RIL are fighting in the Bombay high court over a 2004 gas supply tender, which RIL had bagged with a winning bid of $2.34 per mmBtu. RIL, however, contends that it has not concluded the contract and that government approval was needed for pricing gas.
The power PSU recently sought the advice of the Solicitor General and Attorney General on the matter and the two were of the view that NTPC should, to safeguard its interest, move the Supreme Court where government had moved a petition in a pricing-related case between RIL and RNRL.
Shinde today said: “It is possible another meeting (of the gas panel) would be convened very soon.” The panel, an informal grouping led by the finance minister, was formed to decide the government’s unified stand on the gas issue.
A unified stand was required as RIL could challenge its 2004 NTPC tender on the grounds that government’s stand on pricing would frustrate the deal.
The government’s petition in the RIL-RNRL case in Supreme Court asserts its rights on approving gas price and deciding its utilisation.
“NTPC is one of the corporations of power ministry. It is the government’s duty to ensure protection of all our coporations. But they (corporations) also have full rights... as it (NTPC) is an independent body... corporation,” he said.
Asked about the Ambani brothers’ row over gas, Shinde said, “Other cases are totally different. It is nothing to do with other cases. We don’t want to get involved in the two brothers’ cases.”