Asserting that the marketing margins charged by Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on gas supplied to it was illegal, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited has asked RIL to withdraw the charges and refund the payments it had made till now. “The charge towards the marketing margin imposed by you (RIL) for sale of gas is illegal, unauthorised and unwarranted,” Reliance Infra Vice-President, Kamal Kant has written to RIL, which is supplying 0.55 mscmd of gas to the Anil Ambani company under an agreement signed in April this year. “The charge is in excess of the $4.2 per mBtu price determined by the government, which according to you is the price at which you can sell gas under the PSC (production sharing contract). The marketing margin of $0.135 per mBtu is not even shared with the government as a part of profit petroleum,” Reliance Infra added. Another Anil Ambani firm, RNRL, is currently engaged in a legal battle with RIL over supply of gas.
Interestingly, Anil Ambani firms have neither been allocated gas from the KG basin nor they are consumers of natural gas but have sought to raise the issue which no other consumer has done while lifting gas from RIL.
On its part, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has questioned the stand of Reliance Infra on the issue stating that the entire Anil Ambani group was indulging in baseless allegations against the Ministry and questioned that when Reliance Infra signed a gas deal with Mukesh Ambani-led firm, why it had not raised this issue or lodged protest.
Reliance Infra in the letter to RIL stated that their gas supply agreement was not a result of any marketing undertaken by RIL or any agency and since there has been a complete absence of any marketing, the charge in respect of marketing margin is clearly unwarranted. “Further it appears that the sale consideration charged by you using the nomenclature of marketing margin is not even shared with the Union Government,” Reliance Infra said.
“You are therefore requested to withdraw the charge towards marketing margin with immediate effect. We request you to refund with interest the marketing margin that has been collected by you without any authorisation. It would not be making any such payments henceforth,” it added.