SEARCH

Opinion » Lead

Updated: July 1, 2013 00:33 IST

Of Reliance, by Reliance, for Reliance

Surya P. Sethi
Comment (122)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

The government has used fallacious arguments to double the price of gas and hand over windfall profits to India’s richest company

Hans Christian Andersen’s story about the emperor’s new clothes came to mind as I read the Finance Minister’s justification of the totally indefensible hike in India’s wellhead price for dry natural gas. The absence of any evidence-based research backing key economic decisions is the true “economic reality” of India, which is today the only country in the world that sees no difference between the wellhead price of natural gas and the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The core argument being presented is that the higher price will yield higher upstream investment in untapped hydrocarbon frontiers, resulting in higher output of domestic natural gas and the reduction or even elimination of India’s import dependence on even costlier LNG, thereby improving the country’s fiscal stability and energy security.

Unfortunately this argument is fallacious on several counts.

Decline in output

First, the government itself admits that despite raising the domestic wellhead price of natural gas by almost 300 per cent from as low as $1.79/MMBtu to as high as $5.25/MMBtu, investments in the sector and the country’s gas output have actually dropped. The bulk of this drop is because of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the company whose demands triggered the recent price increase. The Comptroller and Auditor General report explicitly outlines how RIL reneged on its production commitments while gold-plating its investments. Can the government guarantee that a price of $8.4/MMBtu will raise gas availability?

What if history repeats itself and it does not? Will the government then find more ways to raise prices even further? How long will the government wait to do so? Does it have a long-term vision based on geopolitical developments in the energy sector, especially gas, where Canada and the U.S. are poised to become major LNG exporters?

Significantly, the single largest instance of foreign direct investment that the above cited 300 per cent price increase attracted was BP’s acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in RIL’s declining KG basin play and not in any new greenfield frontier. BP is not known to invest $7 billion-plus for improving a country’s fiscal or energy balance. The company must have seen returns from a known discovery even at the then approved price of $4.2/MMBtu.

Second, the import parity price for a globally traded commodity such as crude oil (unlike natural gas) that has justifiably been in place since the 1990s has not succeeded in raising domestic crude production significantly or attracted significant FDI in the Indian sedimentary basin. Here too, the single largest investment was the purchase of a foreign company’s stake in an existing on-shore field in Rajasthan.

Finally, and most importantly, even if the government is right; what is the justification for raising the price of gas from existing fields? We can always pay a higher price for more difficult horizons provided the duly approved and audited costs of exploration and production warrant that. The current production was realised with no prospect of getting $8.4/MMBtu. Will the government spell out its plan for this windfall profit it is bequeathing to current producers at the cost of the common man and honest taxpayers?

It has been argued that the bulk of the benefits from the price hike will go to the public sector. However, we all know that the upstream public sector companies are milked by the government through ad hoc burdens such as funding under-recoveries. Hence, the real beneficiaries will be private gas producers unless the government also announces policies that place the same burdens on upstream private and public sector companies. But that would defeat the real purpose of the price increase, wouldn’t it? A bogey used to milk the upstream public sector is the absence of profit-sharing in the nomination blocks that they received in the pre-NELP era. It would be educational for me and others if the government would make public the exact amount of profit gas and profit oil that it has received from private producers since the New Exploration Licensing Policy was instituted.

In any event, the entire fairy tale of fiscal stability has now been undermined by none other than the Finance Minister himself. In his press briefing on Friday, he opened the door for subsidising the purchase of gas for the power and fertilizer sectors that together use over 75 per cent of the available gas in India.

Cheating & double-cheating

Like the $4.20/MMBtu price the last time, I am intrigued by the choice of the number $8.40/MMBtu this time around. In everyday language, these numbers are used to signify cheating and double-cheating! The price of 4.20 was derived based on a RIL formula that had never been used and is still not used anywhere in the world to price natural gas at the wellhead or any other form of gas anywhere. The 8.40 number reportedly flows from the Rangarajan formula, which again is not used anywhere else in the world to establish the wellhead price of natural gas or any other form of gas anywhere.

Can the government identify even a single gas field in the world that gets a well head price of $8.40/MMBtu for conventional dry natural gas? How come investments keep taking place elsewhere without resorting to such dubious pricing formulae? Can Dr. Rangarajan identify which element in his formula represents the wellhead price for dry natural gas actually received by conventional natural gas producers around the world? The truth is that none of the elements in the Rangarajan formula represents the wellhead price it sets out to establish, and yet it magically delivers a price at exactly twice the 4.20 level! The Henry Hub spot price (currently at $3.77/MMBtu), which is the only relevant element in the Rangarajan formula, is also greater than the wellhead price received by producers of conventional dry natural gas in the U.S.

‘Gigantic scam’

Strong words are typically not in my vocabulary so let me simply say that I agree with Gurudas Dasgupta, MP, that a “gigantic scam” is being perpetrated on the impoverished people of our country.

I also agree with former Union Revenue Secretary E.A.S. Sarma’s assertion that the gas price hike is a policy initiative that “socialises costs and privatises profits.” Let us not forget that the same KG basin gas that was once offered to NTPC at $2.34/MMBtu for 17 years and which is documented to cost under a dollar per MMBtu to produce received $4.20/MMbtu in the first five years and is now guaranteed to receive twice that or more in the next five years. This is the road to wealth in a country wherein some 80 per cent of the people live below the $2/day purchasing power parity threshold.

I urge the non-Congress leaders to join hands with Mr. Dasgupta in stopping this loot. Perhaps the Supreme Court, that placed very clear responsibilities on the government while pronouncing its judgment on the gas dispute between the then warring Ambani brothers, will take note of what is going on, especially in light of the CAG’s findings on the KG basin. Let me add that if indeed India is floating on natural gas, raising the wellhead price of dry natural gas to levels unheard of anywhere else in the world is the worst policy option to release this national wealth. Such an option works best when reserves are limited and producers gold plate their investment to extract the much needed energy at higher and higher prices to achieve the investment multiples that current policies guarantee — just as the CAG discovered in the case of KG basin.

In closing, let me inform the honourable Petroleum Minster that everyone related to the hydrocarbon field in India knows that I do not represent any lobby — not even the oil and gas import lobby that our Petroleum Minister seems to have inside information on. My old and new clothes do not come from any vested interest, blandishment or deception. Can our emperors make the same claim?

(The writer, formerly Principal Adviser, Power & Energy, Government of India, is Adjunct Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore)

More In: Lead | Opinion

its time to boycott reliance products.

from:  Udayakumar
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:06 IST

Do u want the public to shut up & watch the happenings. Already entire natural resources are looted by ruling party members.
These people will force public to kill themselves; who can afford the prices for vegetables. Whenever there's a hike in prices publilc reduce their basi needs & this will at one point of time burst which will surely lead to white collar criminal issues.
For how long one can witrhstand the issues; there's a breaking point for all...

from:  Ashoks
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 01:23 IST

Like all roads led to Roam, all taxes leads our pockets.

from:  Lamba
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 00:49 IST

Dear Sir,
please let me know who will be getting the royalty from the gas explored and sold to consumer?
2) who is the major benificery of the so caller ad hoc petroleum mechanism of the fossil fuel? HOW MUCH OF THESE TAXES COLLECTED IS UTILISED BY CENTRE GOVT?
3) IN 2002, N.D.A Govt had deregulated the petroleum prices and opened the doors of petroleum retail for private players, thus the adulteration, short delivery of petroleum products came under check.
then there came U.P.A Govt, in 2004 in support of this so called patriot member of parliament Mr. gurudas gupta, had initiated the administered price mechanism which led to dolling out under recoveries of huge amount which led to huge C.A.D leading to fall in the value of rupee. please answer who is going to pay for the under recoveries?
4)

from:  ABHISHEK KASHYAP
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 00:00 IST

Dear Editor
This country under UPA has seen bigger loots than this and now it seems
pity to me discussing about all these scams of government because they
are so shameless( degree of which is increasing day immemorable ) that
they will do what ever they want and no word is enough to ashame them.
Really the govt has reached such a level of absurdity that you can't do
but piity on yourself.

from:  shubham
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 17:31 IST

I strongly feel the election commission should view this as a conflict of interest as the effective date is 1st April & by then this govt will be under code of conduct. Who gives them power to review this now. I think propriety demands those ruling should defer this to next govt, which of course one shouldn't be expecting from the biggest democracy.
Secondly it is high time reliance rename the group as unreliance as this one group is going to pledge the billions people living & earning for a few generations for their gain. I am sure our country's track record of its cherished history & values won't allow that to happen. That time only will tell.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 17:04 IST

Reliance is growing fast enjoying benefits from the government at the
cost of common people. Reliance management is a curse to India who
exploit the natural resources of India and do nothing good to the
society compared to other good companies.

from:  joshi
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 16:56 IST

This is indeed a one sided bitter diatribe.
Let me tell you this. The cost of oil exploration in deep sea is prohibitively expensive. The technology is frontier technology not available in India. ONGC is not in the picture as the cost and technology is beyond them.
So if you want deep offshore gas pay for it or shut up. They want a profit but only after risking huge sums on exploration.
Similar audits have been faced in ONGC where as every one know the service companies quote as per job quantity and quality. One off jobs and hi tech tools are not available cheap.
For example the cost of logging on shore vs offshore. cost of logging in Saudi vs cost in India will be different by a very wide margin.
So don't audit. India can wait another 50 years for the cost of deep offshore technology to come down.

from:  sharma b.s
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 14:29 IST

What a private firm do a government firm can also do. Why dont they give KG to public sector firm (ongc, gail). br/>

from:  Dr. Varun Pratap
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 13:48 IST

If want we to do something about all this then commit that this type of MP's should never go to the parliament.. And for this we should cast our vote to only educated person..

from:  Sumit Varshney
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 13:00 IST

But what else can we do.. We all are just the common man who believes on our government that our government will have something in mind regarding us and our country.
We don't have much time to think ourselves fully, we have so much of responsibility for us and for our family that we allow them to do anything..
And then we think to stop them by posting such comments and showing our grievances to them.. This will not stop them but will make laugh and nothing else..

from:  Sumit Varshney
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 12:54 IST

Its a bad state of the nation wherein people are looted openly and shamelessly nd still thr common man is helpless.

from:  Aman
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 10:31 IST

Every unit of Power you use, every gram of Fertilizer a Farmer use; the money paid for it will find it's way to the Vault of Reliance. And of course this time the Ambani's will gift themselves an even expensive house than the current one. Thanks to the New Gas Pricing which comes in effect from April 2014. Crony Capitalism at it's Best.

from:  Kapil
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 10:24 IST

Reliance is a curse we have on the country. This company is not
functioning on the basis of merit, good service, good governance. This
company was built under the aegis of "crony capitalism" and is still
functioning under that. While a company like Tata gives a lot back to
the country all reliance has ever done is cheat, cozy up with a bunch of
equally corrupt politicians and loot the country. Why is it that
reliance does not really have a global presence and is not doing that
well anywhere else in the world?

from:  Nidhi
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 09:55 IST

It is always a good idea that natrural resources should be dealt with by the public sector. I agree with Dasgupta. But will the Communists let public sector enterprises run efficiently?. No. They want their members to be protected at all costs. They want influence and power by propping up these unions. So Dasgupta's is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Mantra should the EFFICIENT PUBLIC SECTOR free of union trouble.

from:  Ramachandran
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 08:37 IST

Classic example of stooping low to the neoliberal fetish.Can such act
bring solace to mounting CAD or channelize FDI?Perhaps all these
exercises in futility are aimed at wooing rating agencies.Peoples
resistance should render these policy blocade to junk status instead of
S&P or Moodies.

from:  UPAL MUKHOPADHYAY
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 07:26 IST

This scam was already disclosed by Arvind Kejriwal when Moily was
brought in place of Jaipal Reddy!

from:  amit khandelwal
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 07:15 IST

The writer has hit the nail on its head through this well researched and well written article. Are Mrs. Sonia and Rahul listening?

from:  sgeorge
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 06:24 IST

I think this is expected of the government. The headline can be modified to "Of the (rich) people, by the (rich) people, and for the (rich) people", and it would still ring true.

The kind of conflict of interest between the politician-industrialist is probably unparallelled in other parts of the world and time. I am sure if the SEBI does a check on the trades in RIL's shares, it can find those who were 'privy' to this before it became public.

Yet another reason to vote out UPA and its cronies for years to come. But of course, UPA is secular.. it loots from all without prejudice!

from:  ramesh
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 00:53 IST

It was high time some1 highlighted the corrupt practices of biggies like RIL.
But wen will some1 strong enough come to take them on and put an end to their armtwisting practices..

from:  Dr Manas Gupta
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 00:47 IST

Mr. Sethi's comments are quite telling. He is correct in saying that no where in the world people are paying $8.40/MMBtu. Like Mr. Sethi, one has to wonder about the rationale behind these decisions. Knowing Mr. Rangarajan's credetials, I would have expected him to have a sound rationale behind any recommendations he makes. So, all this is quite shocking. Lot of people are under the impression that the current Finance Minister is an anlytical person but this article raises big questions about that assumption. It is the same Fianace Minister that announced, without wincing, in the last budget that there were only some 43,000 indians whose annual earnings were over $200,000.00. One has to wonder how he or his officials could possibly believe that and take no action to collect proper income tax revenue from the high earners.

from:  Virendra Gupta
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 00:37 IST

Such happenings in the democracy like India forces the common people
to think once again that how belittled (s)he gets every time by the
market driven forces,by the crony capitalism prevailing in the
country.The entire idea of democracy sometimes seems futile and seems
existing on paper only.The helplessness of the people who can't raise
their voice magnifies in these times.

The commerce has today deepened its roots in such a way that
government has been dwarfed by it.The capitalists are dictating the
terms to them and the common people is the poor witness to it.

The resources of nature belong to the people of the country only and
if they are not able to extract maximum profit out of it which is
reaching the bank accounts of a privileged few then nothing remains to
be said and done.

It's high time that the civil society,the people who have been every
now and then oppressed by the governments and always taken for granted
begin to assert their rights and snatch them from politicians.

from:  mohit kumar
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 23:22 IST

There are certain resources like gas,water etc, wherein only public
sector should be allowed to acquire because these resources influence
common people's life to a large extent.Private company work only for
commercial purpose and keep social welfare in its least priority.So
government should tries to make public sector companies more competent
and effective in meeting the nation's demand instead of handing over the
natural resources to private sector.....

from:  anoop kumar bhardwaj
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 22:48 IST

This is precisely what Arvind Kejriwal had said a year ago when Jaipal Reddy was replaced by Veerappa Moily, It became a breaking news but with in 24 hrs media was shown its place by Ambani and from then on Arvind Kejriwal never got the same press.

from:  vishal
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 22:27 IST

Can the Finance Minister and Petroleum Minister do justice to Indian Resources and the Indian Public to compensate the losses occured to exchequer and industry due to shortfall in production by RIL and compensating the production of natural gases losses that has occured in in last three years at the same rates before discussing the future price escalation of Natural Gas with RIL

from:  Mukesh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 22:22 IST

What we can do is grin n bear it ....

from:  Luqna Ahmad
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 22:20 IST

I feel that the author's argument is based on a lot of misconceptions. I am very keen to know his view points on how to increase the FDI in the upstream exploration. How would India sustain with its increasing energy needs and requirements if the government keep on subsidizing the fossil fuel?

from:  Deepak Jose
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 21:58 IST

Comments from oil and gas industries itself show why pricing is going to be only a burden on consumers. They have hundreds of reasons to not produce what they supposed to because they know they will always get what they want. Government should learn its lesson soon to prevent monopolizing these natural resources production. Economist like Rangarajan know how monopoly works. Insufficient supply, marked up prices and all.
Price was never a problem. It is corruption, lack of policy and commitment. Proposed Free market is impossible when reserves are sold on first come first basis in coal and gas. Stop misleading people showing them calculated results based on wrong assumptions.

from:  vivek
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 21:53 IST

Manmohan is like Dhritarashtra, the Blind Man. Can't do anything
against anything. This issue would raised like fire, but soon time
will quench the even embers of the same.

Reliance has money muscle, once it will flex the same all the leaders
of our country will keep there death silence.

India was historically plundered by outsiders. Its deja vu now, only
difference this these are insiders. Human psyche has no contentment.
More greed of some people will turn the blood cry of many people for
their need. This should be stopped somewhere, don't know if some one
is listening

from:  Sachin
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 21:53 IST

the recent price hike shows that the goverment will do anything to
satisfy corporates which include ministers coming up with stories about
threats.the only entity benefitting from this price hike is reliance and
all the talk about increased investment is just an excuse to make people
believe that what the government has done is legitimate.this move only
serves to increase the subsidy bill of the goverment

from:  p j sreenath
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 21:34 IST

Government is following the same erstwhile British colonial carrot
and stick policy, but this time its more of stick than carrot,a common
pattern of hefty increase in price of natural fuel is followed by
marginal decrease to dissuade public ire. Policies are made in favor of
those who finance their elections and whosoever question's government
suzerainty like CAG, government left no stone unturned to make it tooth
less.

from:  Amit Verma
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 19:48 IST

Inflated costs, inflated prices.
Every one forgets that, oil, gas, coal, water, .... all these are
owned by citizens. special audit should reveal real profits, and
Government should take at least 80 percent of this profit, as taxes.
Let me explain.
Shell, a partner in Oman Government Controlled company called
PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT OMAN, first pays 20 percent of sale value as
royalty to the Oman government. Then, after,expenses, and all, profit
is calculated.
On this remaining profit, 80 percent tax is paid.
This kind of special tax, does any one know about it in India?

from:  Joe Vivera
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 19:46 IST

These are issues that have to be discussed in Parliament before
deciding, but are Members ....

from:  Krishnan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 19:18 IST

Surya Seth and Mr Dasgupta are acting like illiterate, harping on the price increase of gas to oil companies. Why would they like the government to allow import of gas at $15? It appears that they are lobbying for the gas importers. Why will any one produce something which will cost less to sell? Does anyone want to sell at a loss? India is losing a ton of foreign currency by improting gas at $15. In addition, Indian companies profits is shared by the shareholders and does not go into the pockets of the politicians or import lobbyists. Higher prices will fetch the government higher revenues from profit, dividends and loyalty. The writer and Mr Dasgupta should come clean and say that they are not influenced by the gas import lobbies or politicians.

from:  RYAN
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 19:04 IST

In my opinion RIL must be removed from govt projects(public ) and govt firms like Gail should be given charge of those plants weather its a power or gas .. or any other which involves public money.. cause Reliance is most cunning firm I ever saw..

from:  K L R SIMHA
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 19:04 IST

Here is an idea, why not free the gas price and let the market decide
how much to charge and how much to pay! If the author is right that
gas production is lot lower than $8.4/mbtu and free market dictates
that another gas field operator will come along who will produce gas
at cheaper rate and lower cost than Reliance and consumers will buy
gas from that company instead of Reliance, and then Reliance may be
forced to lower its price. But I guess the author will never talk
about free market price in India even though he is ready to compare
Indian price to free market determined Henry Hub US domestic gas
price. It is unfortunate that most readers start condemning Reliance
and the govt without debating the pros and cons of the points raised
in the article. Lastly this is what happens when the govt interferes
with market pricing mechanism, all sorts of band-aids are applied to
plug one hole after another with no end in sight to reach a stable,
logical pricing mechanism.

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 18:54 IST

What has been talked about in the article is about day light robbery perpetrated on a gigantic
scale by a business conglomerate in active connivance with the political class. What is not
talked about and what is much more important in terms of social upheavals is the land
subsidence problem in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh. There was no geological
survey of the area prior to the exploitation of the gas and when somebody went to court, an
expert committee was appointed in 2009 and it is yet to submit its report. It is estimated that
the area in the coastal districts, which is very fertile for crops will become a desert because
of land subsidence and sea water incursion due to gas extraction. Millions of people in the
coastal districts will have to move elsewhere to survive, after having lost their sustenance.

from:  Y l n rao
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 18:32 IST

As Marx said there is the government laws always try to protect the bourgeois interests and their primary aim is not removing equalities as mentioned in the Directive principles of state policy.And Serving the poor is as just illusion and to maintain the status quo. I think what we have to do is spread knowledge how the bourgeois and Govt cheating the common man only common man's awareness only stop this gigantic scams.

from:  rakesh aity
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 18:22 IST

It's like open secret , an open corruption . catch me if u can :P ,
it's chindu and rajan starrer movie scripted by corpo world.

from:  shyam
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 17:49 IST

It's much disgusting to realize that we, the people of India are cheated and looted again and again. It's much more disgusting that there is a very low voice raising against it like Gurudasdas Gupta. This politico-corporate nexus should be eliminated before it's too late.

from:  Sethu Hareendran
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 17:47 IST

Nobody can stop this country getting looted by the corporates.Indians will have to live under these corporations for a long time to come.No political party has the wherewithal to overcome this tragedy.

from:  Nasar
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 17:38 IST

An article having towering reverberations in days ahead. Indian polity has spoiled in recent times with incompetents at the helm of affairs doing unprecedented damage to system. Administrative Service which ought to be an exemplary service similar to erstwhile ICS lost its sheen with most of the civil servants lacking grit, determination and all the more national committment. Until we eliminate the white ration philosophy with empowerment, we in India have no time to rest.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 17:29 IST

Left parties has jointly isseud a statement on this matter.
They urged the goverment not to implement the price hike of natural gas. They pointed out that the entire price increase/enhanced subsidy will be passed on to just a single corporate house as super normal profits, since the profit share of the private operator is 90%. Natural gas belongs to the people of the country and the government is holding it in trust for the people. They cannot be plundered by the corporates and actively be supported by the very arms of the government that are supposed regulate them.
This statement was issued on June 24. But the goverment had refused to pay attention to this.

from:  SAJAN EVUGEN
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 17:16 IST

this corporate-politics syndicate is so complex and sophisticated that
the downtrodden society or even the middle class will always bear the
burden if it but will never find a way out of it. radia tapes,KG
basin,2G allocations are a few examples which expose the same.these two
communities think themselves above a line & entitled to reap benefits
always while rest of the population is existing only to serve
them.elections come and go corporate & politician always remain hand in
glove.

from:  Rajender Prasad
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 16:54 IST

Corruption ... seems a very common word these days , isn't it guys ?

from:  vikas
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 16:46 IST

Reading such article will not solve the issue. What is it that we all readers should do to stop it? We need to unite and form a group which will voice our concerns.

from:  Abhay
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 16:45 IST

If what the author urges is true, the govt is making fools of us with complex economic formulae and what not! Guess all these lose threads connect to the upcoming elections.

from:  RAJESH BHATTAD
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 16:42 IST

Why should an agreement with an Indian Company to purchase a product in India that is produced in India should be priced in USD in the first place? International pricing? So, why do we have a currency anymore if our own Government does not value it? or if an "Indian Company" does not value it?

from:  Balaji
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 16:39 IST

The Hindu has always been known to put the facts first and let the
reader decide. This article is a surprising deviation, when
insinuations are being used to suggest that a massive "scam" is being
perpetrated upon the Indian public.

The spot price of LNG gas that is being procured from Qatar or
Australia is in the region of $12-15 MMBTU, which is because Japan has
mothballed her nuclear reactors after Fukushima and hence driving up
the price of natural gas. On the contrary, the shale gas revolution in
the US has driven prices downward to levels of $3-4MMBTU. The
Rangarajan formula is a complicated averaging formula which has been
published.

$4.2MMBTU is not sufficient for Reliance to make profits - so why does
that irritate sections of the political spectrum? Reliance is not a
PSU, and can't participate in doling out subsidies. Yes, for the
issues that Reliance has been hauled up by the CAG, there should be an
investigation. But let us not get side-tracked by that issue.

from:  SATISH
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 16:38 IST

This once again proves that India needs a free CBI to eradicate corruption.

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 16:11 IST

Real terrors of our society. All these culprits must be booked under
criminal offences and get punished in the court of law.

from:  Venkatesh CS
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 16:02 IST

As I read thru the article and especially the last 4 paragraphs
depicting where our nation's natural resources are siphoned out and to
fill whose coffers, I felt a chill thru my spine. India is being
enslaved again by a few tycoons in the name of big ventures they run
like how the East India Company was engulfing India fully. We need to
unshackle India from the vice like grip of oil barons and their
stooges occupying ministerial posts in the government. When I saw the
author is from Lee Kuwan Yew School in Singapore, I was wondering on a
city state where like in India once kerosene oil was sold along the
streets in bullock carts and people of different ethnicity were ruling
the villages with "Parangs" in their hands fighting among them! Men of
resolve like Mr. Lee Kuwan Yew, Goh Chock Tong, Lee Hisian Loong,
George Yeo, Eswaran have morphed Singapore into a hub of finance,
commerce and an icon for economic growth. Whereas in India the fence
destroys the fruit yielding trees! Pity!

from:  C. Sachidananda Narayanan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:54 IST

It is an open secret that the price rise is done to favour a private
organization. The same was tha case with Petroleum prices. Reliance
petrol pumps were shut down as government couldn't give subsidy to them
on lower prices so price were made market determined to rejuvenate
Reliance Petrol Pumps.

from:  Akshay Dhadda
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:52 IST

The government seems to be accountable only to a few handful of rich of riches at the cost of the poor voters who regularly exercise their franchise. the MMS and PC Group with the blessings the Ma'm will swidle the poor of poor and deprive them of their food and shelter to benefit the FEW. In turn they will fund their election expenses plus their foreign accounts also.

Totally disgusting pricing formulae!! It should be withdrawn immediately.

Except Mr. Gurudas Dasgupta, not a single politician raised voice over it.

That is politics!!!

from:  Prabhakaran K
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:48 IST

Kudos to The Hindu, definitely this is the mega scam and it is the
real scam, The loss estimated in the 2G is presumptive, whereas in
this case it is real fact, see BJP is also keeping silence in this
matter, for all other matters they vociferously fight back with the
congress, both these parties are going to get some benefits from the
beneficiary of this policy decision. Like my fellow citizens, I do
have hope in Supreme Court, they should act now. God Please save this
country. There are people who are conducting mass prayers for want of
rain, why don't we try to get rid of corruption?

from:  Thiravidamani
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:48 IST

MR. surya sethi, you are an exception. all your columns are so
thoughtful and go right to the crux of the matter being addressed. Hats
off THE HINDU, thanks for your this service to the nation. one hope, one
day mr. ambani have to get justice for looting this miserable country's
resources.

from:  anuska jain
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:40 IST

Reliance relies on the UPA Government to help it to make windfall profits always.What is wrong in that, the government may ask.Neither our sriptures nor our constitution debars making profits in businesses, it may say.The argument ends there, isn't it? Well,we will leave it at that!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:29 IST

why is bjp sitting quiet on this issue or are they also hand in glove
with govt on this decision. what is their stand or they want mr.
ambani advice first
from UPA nothing else could have been expected. it is UNITED PEOPLE
FOR AMBANIS

and with their own guy at CAG who else will check the loot.

i just hope Supreme Court might do something

from:  pankaj
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:21 IST

Why do you think that Ambani once reportedly made a comment , "yey sarkar hamare Jen
mien hein"(this government is in my pocket). It is not for nothing. After all both
Manmona/Sonia'Congress and Modi/Advani's BJP need several lakh crores for Election
2014 where will they get it from except from that 'pocket'? People are being fooled by
unjustified justifications but they have nowhere else to go because both parties have
colluded in this national loot by Reliance now funding them later.

from:  MvjRao
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:19 IST

I wish I could volunteer to do something to stop this loot by the oily Moily.

from:  Gaurav Singh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:18 IST

Are we still a Banana Republic?

from:  Bisal
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:14 IST

"The never ending effects of Economic LPG on Natural LPG."

from:  tony
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:13 IST

These are not issues to be seen in isolation. The corporate world, the
rich and the powerful have misled the media and the people to believe
that the private sector tag entitles accumulation of assets from
'choice' sectors leaving all inconvenient things to public sector and
government. Whether government, public sector or private sector or
individuals, when it comes to nation's resources, whether it be cash,
oil, gold, minerals or energy sources, they have only trusteeship
rights and there should be self-regulation to limit windfall gains or
'ugly' profits at the cost of other priorities, especially where
loopholes exist for pilferages.
Industries including IT sector which have benefited from initial
concessions should be made to pay back when time comes.

from:  M G WARRIER
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:06 IST

Why dont people do a candle light march when the sovereign interest of billion indians dies in the hand of one business house? Because those who carry or meant to carry the candle do not understand what it means when 4.2 changes to 8.4. Why there is no mass turn out with slogans and placards. Because its not direct to individuals.

But the impact is going to be demonic. I wish the writer would have known and explained how and on what context and through which route the RIL BP merger happened. The real scam would have been monstrous.

Ignorance is bliss. For candle bearers, the placard holders and us who never stood up.

Long live demonocracy.

from:  Subrata
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:03 IST

Kudos! Atleast The Hindu writes about this loot.

from:  KVKSumar
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 14:59 IST

@mitra: country is prospering for whom and how many, mr. Mitra? Please take off your gdp glasses.

from:  Shalu
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 13:39 IST

It is good at least communists are speaking about this loot and great that the Hindu is continously publishing many aweakening articles like this. But the very fortunate thing in our country is most of the all political parties are in Reliance's packet as well as several media houses

from:  Suresh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 13:34 IST

all M.P and ministers are servants of Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, who are working for him and not for nation / I hope Jaipal Reddy and Jayraman Ramesh are exception

from:  khodke
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 13:18 IST

Time to free the nation from slavery of crony capitalists. Development is not equal to crony capitalism!! Only equitable development & inclusive growth is sustainable...everything else is only as strong as Uttarakhand's loose soil layers.

from:  Anish Khindri
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 13:16 IST

I don't know if scams can be stopped. but can be controlled by putting high tax (70% or above) for windfall profit in all sectors..

from:  Rajapandi
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 13:13 IST

A revelation supported by strong and simple facts. Really a powerful
article by The Hindu. Hats off to the writer.

from:  Ashutosh Pandey
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 13:07 IST

Who will then foot the bill for next year election campaigns?

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 13:04 IST

One simple solution(or step) to avoid this kind of scams is to put 100% tax for profit (or increase in net asset worth) above 50% for any industry/individual.... This will not prevent the robbery oil sector but also in education, hospital, etc.

from:  Rajapandi
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 13:03 IST

The proposition "of reliance, by reliance and for reliance" has been very convincingly presented using basic undisputable facts. Is the intelligence of Indian citizens being estimated by the government officials at abysmally low level that they believe that they can collaborate with private enterprises to openly loot the country? These are the instances of crony capitalism that makes one so cynical of our democracy. We need to seriously explore alternative models of economy and governance. Else, the doomsday is not far. And the first victims of such doomsday may well be the beneficiaries of today's loot.

from:  Raghu
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:50 IST

Mukesh Ambani can get the cabinet minister changed if his work is not
done.
ONGC has been producing Gas at fraction of the cost estimates by Dr
Rangarajan committe and still making profits to the tune of Rs 20000
crores per year on an average. In addition paying Royalties for the
portion not owned by it joint ventures.

Next Year Congress has to face elections and who shall give funds to
fight it.

I wonder why BJP and other parties are keeping quiet??? Are they also
getting funds for elections??????

from:  sathayn
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:43 IST

Whether the UPA or NDA assumes the office after next General Elections,
the Reliance industries is set to benefit,I wish that one day left
parties is voted to power and clip the extra wings of Reliance and other
Big shots who are looting India.

from:  Jaykay
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:28 IST

AS usual THE HINDU has exposed another scandal.
kudos for The Hindu for exposing this.
Hats off to THE HINDU.

from:  zakir
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:24 IST

Few months back I didn't know the meaning of even mmbtu. I kept on
reading The Hindu's news pertaining to Gas Price Hike and gained new
insights. Though I do not have nous commensurate of Shri SURYA P. SETHI,
still I can see the wrong-doing through this gas price hike and can also
see the connivance. A layman can also tell that why this out-of-the-box
pricing was done when the prices in Henry-Hub were $3.75 mmbtu. I am
really perturbed with the Govt.-Industrialist nexus in evry aspect of
our economy.

from:  VARUN JOSHI
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:22 IST

People want free handouts. Govt wants to control everything. Business wants big profits despite being lazy. Recipe for disaster and everyone is guilty. Govt role should stop with creating a transparent and honest market. Public should stop expecting handouts (it may be nation's resource that doesn't mean you get it free or below market). There is no other solution. Every thing else is just a temporary patch.

from:  Ashokr
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:16 IST

Surely an eye-opener article for many readers like me who are unaware
that to how much extent the private-political nexus can drain the wealth
of the country.Hindu should be applauded for raising concern regarding
unjustifiable gas hike based on the dubious Rangarajan formula which can
further harm the already dilapidated economy of India.

from:  Ankit Trivedi
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:15 IST

When Jaipal Reddy was eased out of the Petroleum Ministry, the buzz was the next de-facto Minister will be Ambani. That prophacy has come true. But this time around Ambani was able to ambush the Finance Ministry too.
Give him the country, he may run it better than the incumbants.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:05 IST

It is shocking, to put mildly, that an expert and a responsible ex-
official reveals the ulterior moves of the government in trying to
please the richset person in the country. By paying such very huge costs
the final impact will again be felt by the Tax payers only. I entirely
agree with the author that everyone irrespective of the party flavours,
should join Mr.Dasgupta and stop this loot.

from:  SARANATHAN
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:02 IST

As our opposition parties are not well organised and they are also like
the ruling party as their old and new clothes come from vested interest,
blandishment or deception , Supreme Court seems to be the only option to
intervene and stop this looting of national wealth.

from:  Jagannath Misra
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:59 IST

Government should make efforts to save thyself instead of saving
Reliance. The Government should not forget that it has to make the
payment of $172 billion to the US government published on The Hindu.
Government should consider it as the national interest whereas Reliance
is private interest

from:  Rakesh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:56 IST

Reading this article, one wonders what kind of leader our PM is! His
personal honesty and integrity has caused much more harm to the
country than a dishonest leader will do. He will go down in the
history with many stains on his snow white clothes that he wears.
Having weathered so many scams and knowing weakness of BJP, the UPA
team has become too bold to care of common man.
As far other political parties that author wants to join hands
against this 'gigantic scam', sir I have little hope as the company
in question is known to have deep pockets and excellent relations
with most, exception being Left parties that we know.

from:  M K Keswani
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:23 IST

I appreciate The Hindu and the Left parties for bringing up this issue. How can we allow this brazen loot of the country? The direct effect of this is the increased electricity bills that the common has to bear.
Excellent work Congress! Keep it going!

from:  Narendra A
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:15 IST

Scams after scams.High time for Supreme court to make an
intervention.These sort of formula making golden bird-THE INDIA prro day
by day.

from:  rajat
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:14 IST

The Government at the center seems to function as extension arm of the RIL. Whether it is the Congress or the BJP, they all seem to function as the handmaidens of the Reliance Industries. This behemoth is like a giant octopus whose tentacles are holding the nation's economic structure in a vice like grip. Unfortunately, the government is hell bent on pursuing its mala fide intentions & corrupt practices. Nothing seems to bring the government to its senses & change direction. It seems that only a revolution can extricate the nation from this mess.

from:  Yunus Sait
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:09 IST

This is not a problem of single company which employ itself in the
service of the country, but whatever companies which get opportunities
of looting of the natural resources of the land act intuitively, with
all the option available.

from:  tarak paswan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:08 IST

I want to see where Hindu stands on this matter. Where is Shalini Singh and other stalwarts ? I hope they are also digging out the truth. All natural resources - whether 2G/3G, Coal, Oil, Gas - All has been shamelessly distributed by politicians (read me - not just ruling party, but even opposition).

from:  Santosh Kumar
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:02 IST

There was earlier an article on The Hindu questioning need for public sector citing AAI chennai project..Public sector though may not be very efficient will not resort to such looting as mentioned in this article..

from:  ramesh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:49 IST

A very coherent assessment of the dubious claims of the government. Unfortunately our Indian polity seems to mirror the US in many unsavory ways, the complete corporate takeover of policy making is a case in point. That such an event can happen with a blatant disregard to public opinion and morality shows the levels to which the ruling elite and the "hand in glove" opposition has sunk. I was surprised by the editorial in The Hindu which was generally supportive of the government move when it clearly had vested interests at heart. Contractual obligations are sacrosanct, let Reliance complete it before being eligible for the new pricing policy. I salute the communist parties, though they may have archaic views on some issues, they are spot on here. This daylight robbery cannot be allowed, we need more voices especially from independent media to expose this scam.

from:  arvind
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:47 IST

Did govt approached any country for investing in India regarding exploration of gas?
Did the ministry surveyed and promoted India's gas blocks?
Does govt PSU's complained against existing gas prices?
Why the govt is not funding PSUs if there is profit in these institutions?
Answer-This Govt is under the clutches of RIL and playing as per its demands. Unless a new committee insists govt to fund these PSUs. It will not act.
"A big scam" I dont see a reason that explains doubling of prices. It is infact 100% cheating and double cheating. Clearly, the timing of announcement indicates that Congress wants money for next elections, RIL has money, "I'll raise the gas prices you fund my election campaign"
This UPA is under false notion that middle class will not mind these corporate affairs. Congress has done very little to improve governance in the country and will recieve a huge electoral blow this time
"With great power comes great responsibility". Where is the Responsibility Congress?

from:  Mysura
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:46 IST

good to see such a article having profuse amount of information regarding the RIL,who goldplating their gas investments in KG basin,
it's time to introspect our approach while selecting our leader who suppose to consider our country, their citizens b'coz once you choose your proffesion as a politician you suppose to serve your nation and their people but these people prefer to work for money rather than their moral duties its better we think and speculate before selecting these sort of low visionary politicians.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:41 IST

Mukesh Ambani is well connected with all Political Parties , so will Get
away with all wrong doings...

from:  rajdeep
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:37 IST

How else will the Govt. generate revenue to fund the MNREGA and "food guarantee scheme" which only guarantees bankruptcy for the nation but election goodies for the Congress. The Hindu incidentally is a champion of these schemes.

from:  s mohan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:32 IST

Insightful article. Thanks for exposing the fallacies in the Governments logic. The people who claim that The Hindu has become a platform for Anti Modi campaign should not such articles being published in The Hindu. Kudos for The Hindu for exposing this !!

from:  Robin Francis
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:31 IST

The whole article brilliantly raises some important questions which
the government should clarify. The situation will exacerbate the
current inflation trend.The recent accusations on reliance of
muscling in their way by hook or by crook is a serious one.
Reliance is also accused of raising the electricity rates in delhi
in collusion with the delhi government.

from:  saumitra joshi
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:31 IST

The proposed had price hike is the most outrageous scam in making. A public loot in broad day light. At once it feels RIL is the new East India Company with our government playing the benign governor general with its own ' white man's burden'.
I feel colonised again.

from:  Shalu Agrawal
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:31 IST

This is a strong and justified indictment of CCEA's chicanery. The author has exposed the fraudulent attempt of the government to fool the people.

from:  K.R.Srivarahan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:21 IST

Rightly said sir.. government is being by these corporate houses, and their instruments who rob the tax payers money and cause inflation.

from:  Amol Agarwal
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:14 IST

"....I urge the non-Congress leaders to join hands with Mr. Dasgupta in stopping this loot...." Why non Congress leaders only? The Congress leaders too should come out openly. They should remember Mahatma Gandhi occasionally !

from:  C V Pillai
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:07 IST

Windfall profits , though true at times, is nonsense theory.Private enterprise is not for charity .Either Govt should explore and extract Natural resources on its own or allow someone else to do the job.There are other methods, such as taxing the windfall profits at an high rate or even increasing the basic tax rates beyond a point on a graded system for the benefit of the country. This is a lesser evil than keeping quiet and expecting someone to to offer at a price of Rs 2.10 (Half crook of half cheat). Generations will pass debating endlessly.Classic case is that of Enron Power project where by delaying matters nothing much was achieved expect that a generation and a potential Industrial state was deprived power when required.

from:  Partha
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 09:26 IST

Because elections are near and they need their support.

from:  pavan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 09:18 IST

True that business needs profit. But the amount of profit should be reasonable enough. This is nothing but a day light robbery.

from:  Thangavel
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 09:09 IST

It is very difficult to hear the truth beyond the gas politics present govt definitly make ordinary man life miserible by making india once again the poor country. I think major opp party is also involved in this lobby thats wy no body is making any voice against it .

from:  Raj
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 09:00 IST

The devil dwells in me. I see only money. Money replicates money. You
come in my way, I will ignore you. If you still poke me, I will buy
you. And if you are still relentless, I will kill you. So, get out of
my way because, I control everything.

Yours are the ways that are dumb socialist, big talks of benefits to
all. So I maligned that term before I headed towards my own capital
ends. Try defending yourself with Socialist paradigm and no youth will
support you because its already negatively stereotyped.

I see that you still want to fight. Then hold your horses and listen
to this. Your judiciary is veneered under Collegium, its activism is
for private ends. Your legislature can do nothing but keep quite when
they must protest, and they create noise when they are must talk. Your
executives have next elections on their minds, they need funds! And
CAG, he is retired now.

And what about poverty? Ignore them and they will simply cease to
exist. Anyway, don't you worry about your beloved?

from:  Mahesh J
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 08:46 IST

seems 90% true. Country's Asset is giving Gas why to compare with International Price?

from:  Pravin
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 08:43 IST

Nicely and timely written article; the title “Of Reliance, by Reliance, for Reliance” shows clearly that the system has gone out of the hands of the common folks. It confirms well that the UPA is doing joint venture with business groups. The innocent working people are its mere tool to get vote and power and the Govt has no concern for the overall economic development and improvement of their life standard. Leader Mr. Guru Das Gupta and the AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal have been emphasising the point that the Govt not only hold the profit lists of the business groups for fixing prices for such precious natural wealth, but it is in fact in their pockets. System change is the only solution for it. Thanks to Mr. Surya P. Sethi for explaining ruses involved in the loot of nation’s wealth, and to ‘The Hindu’ for publishing such an enlightening article.

from:  A.Kannan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 08:28 IST

Well written with facts, so how do we tame these bulls(Ambani and politicians)?

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 08:19 IST

Morality and Integrity are thrown to winds.
A blatant misuse without even a basic shyness
amongst other similar acts has happened.

At this rate, we are fast depleting the welfare
of the future generations, not only of materialistic
worth but moral worth as well.

Except seeking the intervention of the Almighty, the
force that could annihilate such elements and ensure
better future of the Country. Nature has already shown
its fury and at this rate, it will have the last laugh.

from:  Jawahar Kannan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 07:48 IST

It looks like, to cover one scam the government gets involved in another scam. Ministers know that India is a very vast countary. Here public unrest is next to impossible. In the remaining few months they would loot as much wealth as possible from India and deposit somewhere away from countary's reach. The rest will again be a choras and finally a part of history.

from:  Anil Karn
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 07:38 IST

Time and again it has been proved that our PM is just a puppet in the hands of a powerful industrial lobby. Other wise you can't explain as to how a man without any leadership qualities can occupy this chair continuously for such a long time.
Besides , the world is going to see abundance of gas in near future in the light of discovery of SHALE GAS deposits. America is already self sufficient in gas production. They have stopped imports. Every gas and oil producer is just worried about their market. India and china are the only potential market for the middle east. we should exploit this opportunity and get a cheaper price, instead of pampering such inefficient local companies. RELIANCE survives and prospers only because of it's clout among politicians.

from:  R.Ganesan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 07:37 IST

This newspaper has been opposed to every proposal on market-oriented
reforms since 1991, yet these reforms has seen India prosper. In the
present case, how can we accept the author's reasoning that the price
of an internationally traded commodity has nothing to do with its
international price? If the domestic price is lower than the
international price, will anybody invest in India? Don't get
distracted by Reliance bashing, look at the incentives of companies.
If the price fixed by government is much lower than if I had invested
internationally, why should I invest in gas exploration and production
in India? And if I don't whose loss would it be? Would it be
Reliance's loss or India's?

from:  Mitra
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 06:58 IST

This is how policies are being corrupted in our country. Time for
changing the attributes required by cabinet ministers.1) they should be
only members from lok sabha 2) Must win the election by 75% of majority
in the constitution 3) No criminal charges recorded against them. 4)
Fixed tenure.

from:  sudeep
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 05:21 IST

This is what Americans call a boondoggle. The Hindu and the author deserve the nation's gratitude for laying out the magnitude of the scam in such clear terms.
The Government has for all practical purposes become a tool of profiteers with so-called cabinet ministers acting as little more than agents. It was so with the telecom, CWG and all this dwarfed by latest. If this goes on, India will soon be ruled by robber barons acting through their agents. This is not just a scam but hijacking the government.

from:  N.S. Rajaram
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 05:18 IST

I am as much worried about the hike in gas prices. I think going by the
details in your article, it is extremely unjustified that the gas prices
should be hiked. I really hope that people learn more about this
decision and oppose it. I am quite upset with the government on this
aspect.

from:  Harpreet Chugh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 04:36 IST

We have to get rid of this Congress government in 2014 at all costs!

from:  Harsh Pandey
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 03:48 IST

Thank you Dr. Sethi and the Hindu for such an excellent article! This is really shocking to see what is going on behind the scenes. I hope all the honest and educated people unite against this loot and bring this in front of the common man so that they can understand the true picture of this democracy. Where is Mr.Ahluwalia and his planning commission team who sets the BPL? I only urge these ministers and bogymen of the corporate people such as RIL how much you need to loot the national wealth to satisfy your lust for the money? You must remember that the Almighty will give HIS justice and you will pay this back through your noses!"Gareeb logon ki bad-dua me bahut asar hota hai"

from:  kumar
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 03:11 IST

An apt title to the article

from:  Yernagula Venkataramana
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 02:47 IST

Is any further proof needed to show that the UPA Government led by Manmohan Singh for Sonia Gandhi is standing the principle of "government of the people, by the people, for the people" on its head?

from:  M. Parthasaarthi
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 01:12 IST

Can someone knowledgeable tell us how much the gas producers receive
for offshore fields in Australia, Trinidad & Tobago etc that supply
LNG in the world market. As I understand India buys LNG at $13/mbtu
except for long term contract with Qatar which is set to expire next
year. Even though the author hints at a lower LNG price in couple of
years when the US and Canada start exporting LNG there is no guarantee
that India would get a price lower than $13 as the gas demand is going
up in all consuming nations like China which are switching from
polluting coal to cleaner burning natural gas. BTW, what does gold-
plating mean anyways? As I understand there are about 3 tcf gas
available for extraction from marginal fields but is not viable due to
high cost of extraction and current low price $4.2/mbtu. Besides the
offshore fields in KB region appear to be difficult ones and are not
viable at current price. Can someone who understands the Rangarajan
report please inform us in an op-ed?

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 01:02 IST
Show all comments
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in Lead

Obama, the serial interventionist

Barack Obama has been more at ease waging wars than in waging peace. He has proved to be one of America’s most militarily assertive Presidents since World War II »