Thirty Members of Parliament belonging to the Left parties from both Houses have written to the Prime Minister to ensure that a "national asset" namely the natural gas reserves including the gas of KG Basin is not appropriated as "family property". The signatories include Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Brinda Karat, Basudev Acharia, Prashant Chatterjee etc.
The text of the letter dated July 27, 2009 and given to the Prime Minister today is given below:
Dear Shri Manmohan Singh Ji,
As you are kindly aware Government of India has rightly asserted that the country's natural gas reserves including the gas of KG Basin is a national asset and this asset and the interests of the economy cannot be held hostage to the benevolence and mercy of some private players.
We strongly believe that such firm assertion should be followed up by appropriate executive action on proper distribution mechanism to make the gas available to priority sectors in the country. Also the regional balance in gas distribution should be ensured through a national gas grid as proposed in the Budget.
The pricing of gas should be based on rational and a transparent formulation. As gas is being produced in our own soil, there is absolutely no justification of pricing it on the basis of linkage with international price of an altogether different product like crude oil as has been done at present by making the gas price at US $ 4.32 per mmbtu. Hence the present gas price determined by the EGoM must be revised and it should be benchmarked to 2.34 dollar/mmbtu as offered to NTPC, a Government owned PSU, by RIL in 2004-2005.
In the face of the "surreptitious and unauthorised" bid of appropriating the country's sovereign natural resources as "family property" by some private players as pointed out in Government's affidavit before the Hon'ble Supreme Court, we urge upon the government to take over the distribution and marketing right of the KG-D6 basin gas at the delivery point so that the same can be distributed and marketed through National Gas Grid under government control as is being done in case of electricity through the Powergrid Corporation of India. Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), a PSU can be assigned the role of a nodal agency for this purpose.
Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Brinda Karat,
Basudev Acharia, Prashant Chatterjee and others