NTPC will wait for the final decision of the gas panel headed by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee before making up its mind on moving the Supreme Court on the natural gas supply dispute with Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said here on Friday.

“Considering the entire situation that prevails today, I think we have to wait till the next meeting of the gas panel which is likely to happen shortly,” Mr. Shinde told reporters.

NTPC and RIL are fighting in the Bombay High Court over a 2004 gas supply tender, which RIL had bagged with a winning bid of $2.34 per mmBtu. RIL, however, contends that it has not concluded the contract and that government approval was needed for pricing of the gas.

The NTPC’s case got a major boost when the Solicitor General and the Attorney General expressed the view that the power PSU should move the apex court to safeguard its interest.

The gas panel had been formed by the UPA Government to work out a common strategy on the case. A unified stand was required as RIL could challenge its 2004 NTPC tender on the grounds that the government’s stand on pricing would frustrate the deal.

“NTPC is one of the corporations of the Power Ministry. It is the government’s duty to ensure protection of all our corporations. But they (corporations) also have full rights as it (NTPC) is an independent corporation,” he said.

Keywords: NTPCShindePranab MukherjeeRILNTPC

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