CPI Member of Parliament Gurudas Dasgupta on Thursday challenged Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily to identify the “vested interests” whom he (Mr. Moily) has alleged were influencing him (Mr. Dasgupta) and also stalling decision-making in the oil and gas sector.

In a rejoinder to Mr. Moily’s assertion on Wednesday that he had not favoured any corporate house, Mr. Dasgupta said the Minister’s stand was misleading. “I request him to kindly identify the vested interest I am representing. It has become a habit of the Minister to make such allegations. Earlier he had talked about ‘import lobbies’ threatening him but has still not identified those lobbies.”

Referring to Mr. Moily’s assertion that he had not dealt with the file relating to $1 billion cost recovery initiated against Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Mr. Dasgupta said the previous Petroleum Minister, Jaipal Reddy, had issued an order imposing penalty or cost recovery on RIL for fall in production level. “It is amazing that he [Mr. Moily] says that the file did not come to him. The matter was in the public domain. Everybody knew the penalty that had been imposed but the Petroleum Minister who succeeded Mr. Reddy does not know of the matter.”

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