Seeking to distance itself from the issue of marketing margin being charged by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on sale of KG basin gas, the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry on Monday said the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) had nothing to do with the issue and the matter was purely a commercial arrangement between the seller and the buyer.
“If it is illegal, as being stated by Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL), then the buyers have the option of approaching the Competition Commission, the oil regulator and even the courts. The buyers in some cases do protest against the marketing margin but make payments to the seller under protest. Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has also been charging this margin,” a senior Ministry official said.
The official said the Petroleum Ministry had no role to play nor it had given any go-ahead for this.
The Ministry has only identified consumers for the gas and it does not get into the issue of commercial dealings between the seller and the buyer. “It is both shocking and amazing that RNRL has acquired the role of a self-styled spokesman of all the gas buyers. He has not been allocated KG gas nor is he a consumer of gas. He is indulging in misleading information and blatant lies as consumers have various options to get their grievances redressed,” he added.
On the other hand, the Petroleum Ministry also wrote to the Power Ministry that the government had not, till date, fixed or approved the quantum of marketing margin for sale of natural gas by any contractor.
The Power Ministry had, last month, sought clarification on the issue of marketing margins being charged by RIL stating that it was not in line with the decisions of an EGoM on pricing formula for KG-D6 gas.
The Anil Ambani owned RNRL had, on Sunday, alleged that RIL was charging unauthorised marketing margin from 35 firms buying KG-D6 gas as they are paying $0.135 per mBtu to RIL without protest.
“The oil ministry said levy of marketing margin was purely a commercial issue between the gas seller and the buyer,” the Petroleum Ministry informed the Power Ministry.