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“Centre to be blamed for allocating gas to Gujarat at prices higher than that to Delhi-Mumbai, the issue to be raised in Parliament” – Arun Jaitley

“Gujarat can reduce gas prices by 30 per cent if the Centre allocates gas to Gujarat at the same prices as Delhi-Mumbai” – Saurabh Patel

Ahmedabad, Monday: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely today said that the Central Government was indeed allocating gas to Delhi and Mumbai for domestic consumers at a lower price than that to Gujarat.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the Centre continued be prejudiced against Gujarat despite repeated representation by Gujarat Government to end this discrimination, with the consumers here bearing the brunt of Centre’s policy. He said that he would raise the issue of this injustice to Gujarat in Parliament, too.

In response to Union Minister of State R.P.N. Singh’s press statement in Ahmedabad yesterday, Mr. Jaitley said: “Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) frame policies at the Centre and on the basis of which gas is allotted to Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), Refineries and Industries but we have never raised any objection on this count. But consumers in Gujarat do not get the gas at the same prices as their counterparts in Delhi and Mumbai. We oppose this injustice. In fact, the Union Minister’s visit to Gujarat was to mislead the people. The Centre includes gas allocated to Central PSEs from Gujarat quota. This has resulted in Gujarat Government’s State PSE, GSPC, importing gas at a higher price. Gujarat High Court has also ruled against Centre and in favour of Gujarat. The Centre should forthwith allocate gas to Gujarat at the same prices as that to Delhi and Mumbai.”

Gujarat’s Minister of State for Energy Saurabh Patel said that Gujarat Government would reduce the gas prices by 30 per cent with immediate effect if the Centre allocates gas to Gujarat at the same prices as to Delhi and Mumbai. He said that 95 per cent of gas allocated by the Central Government goes to big industries.

While APM gas is allocated at USD 4.20/MMBTU, PPL RLNG at USD 9.14/MMBTU, but Gujarat has to buy its additional requirement at USD 16.36/MMBTU.

Mr. Patel said the Centre should allocate gas to Gujarat at USD 4.20/MMBTU in reverence to Gujarat High Court’s directive, instead of going in appeal to the apex court against Gujarat.

He said that nation’s prestigious company GSPC supplies gas to 9.6-lakh domestic consumers and 4.5-lakh CNG-powered vehicles through gas-grid and, ironically, the Centre is hell-bent on deactivating this gas-grid, too.

Referring to the Centre’s prejudiced policy Mr. Patel said that Union Minister Singh’s statement made here yesterday betrays his innocence because he is a party to the five-member EGoM decision about gas allocation. He said the Centre tried to mislead Gujarat consumers by fleecing them of crores of rupees for years together but the people of the state have by now recognized the vested interests.

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