The Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry and the Power Ministry are understood to have decided to present a ‘common stand’ before the Supreme Court when the KG basin gas case comes up for hearing on September 1.

The Petroleum Ministry has backed down on its stand of asking the NTPC to sign the gas sales and purchase agreement (GSPA) for its power plants. It is now ready to back NTPC against Reliance Industries (RIL) for the latter’s failure to fulfil the 2005 agreement for supply of natural gas to NTPC’s Kawas and Gandhar power plants in Gujarat at $2.34 mmBtu.

The meeting between Petroleum Secretary R. S. Pandey and Power Secretary H. S. Brahma on Wednesday had set the tone for such a stand before the apex court.

The Power Secretary and NTPC Chairman and Managing Director R.S. Sharma had also met Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora and explained to him the facts of the case.

They explained to Mr. Deora that it would not be possible for NTPC to give up its claim on the 2005 gas supply agreement and it had no other option but to the approach the Supreme Court in view of a strong case, a senior Petroleum Ministry official stated.

Now various options were being explored to ensure that the two government bodies do not contradict each other before the apex court.

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