National Alliance of People’s Movements convener Medha Patkar has demanded that the Union government release a white paper on all deals pertaining to transfer of natural gas basins to the private sector from the Bombay High to Krishna-Godavari basin reserves.

National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) convener Medha Patkar has demanded that the Union government release a white paper on all deals pertaining to transfer of natural gas basins to the private sector from the Bombay High to Krishna-Godavari basin reserves.

The government should institute an inquiry into the deals with a committee of people who were "unbiased and impartial." It should stop signing further agreements relating to oil and natural gas exploration and production with private players, Reliance Industries Limited in particular, till the probe was completed, she said on Thursday.

Ms. Patkar said an "impartial probe" was needed as the government had lost its “moral right” and could not afford to take unbiased decisions in this regard.

"I don’t say that the Ministers are directly involved in the deals. But, the government has lost the moral right since it allowed things to come this far," said Ms. Patkar, who was here to participate in a seminar at the National Institute of Rural Development.

She said the ongoing dispute between Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani should not be viewed as a conflict between two brothers as it involved the larger issue of `corporate – state nexus’ for exploitation of natural resources. "It is for the government to ascertain the extent of losses it will sustain on account of the agreements signed with Reliance Industries. But, the two groups are revealing the information on the extent of extra profits generated by one another," she said.

While the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation conducted explorations to assess the extent of reserves, the government had handed over the basin to Reliance Industries much against the spirit of Articles 38 and 39 of the Constitution which prohibited concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.

Referring to the dispute in the Supreme Court pertaining to Reliance Industries, she said the NAPM was obtaining legal advice to intervene in the issue for protecting the people’s rights on the natural resources.

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