The government on Thursday strongly rebutted allegations of it showing favouritism towards Reliance Industries, saying decisions were taken objectively without fear or favour and that it had way back in 2010 rejected the company’s demand for a revision in gas price

The government on Thursday strongly rebutted allegations of it showing favouritism towards Reliance Industries, saying decisions were taken objectively without fear or favour and that it had way back in 2010 rejected the company’s demand for a revision in gas price.

Terming allegations levelled by India Against Corruption (IAC) as “baseless and frivolous, the Oil Ministry in a six-page statement said the Congress-led UPA-I and UPA-II governments under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have been “consistently protecting the national interest”.

In a point-by-point rebuttal to allegations levelled by Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday, it said: “The Ministry is committed to upholding the rule of law and the decisions are taken objectively without any fear or favour.”

“The system is not influenced or guided by whims and fancies of any individual or group of individuals. The Ministry continues to function and take decisions with firmness, after due diligence and strict adherence to principles of transparency and probity,” it said.

It termed as “baseless” allegations of government favouring RIL in award of KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block, where subsequently 18 gas and one oil find was made.

The ministry said under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) approved by the Government in 1997 and implemented by the BJP-led NDA government in 1999, areas like KG-D6 were offered for exploration through open international competitive bidding.

“The contract under NELP was modelled after Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) prevalent in other developing countries. Commonwealth Secretariat provided consultancy during the design of the PSC document,” it said adding KG-D6 block was awarded to RIL and its Canadian partner Niko Resources through competitive bidding.

“The contract is a generic template and not specific to RIL,” it said.

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