Windfall tax not under purview of Petroleum Ministry, says Deora

Special Correspondent

State-run firms

face huge

revenue loss

Jamnagar refinery accorded EoU status

NEW DELHI: Stating that levy of “windfall tax” on private refiners and review of export-oriented unit (EoU) status, as demanded by the Samajwadi Party, on the Jamnagar unit of Reliance Industries was out of the purview of the Petroleum Ministry.

“We have no jurisdiction over such issues. It is a matter that has to be decided either by the Finance Ministry or the Ministry of Commerce. The Petroleum Ministry has little or no role to play in levy of windfall tax. As the matter is not with my Ministry I have no comments to make on the demand raised,” he added.

The demand was first raised by the Left parties and then by the Samajwadi Party. At the same time, Mr. Deora said he was open to any kind of suggestion or discussion with regard to development or strengthening of the oil and gas sectors.

Mr. Deora said his Ministry had no authority to levy or withdraw tax and nor his Ministry had any role in extending or reviewing EoU status to any unit.

While state-run firms are faced with huge revenue loss as they capped domestic retail prices despite two-fold jump in international crude oil prices, Reliance Industries’ Jamnagar refinery has seen net profits jump 28 per cent to Rs. 15,261 crore in 2007-08.

The refinery that has been turned into pure EoU earned $15 a barrel margin, almost double its public sector competitors.

The Left on various occasions and the Samajwadi Party have questioned the UPA Government’s move to give Jamnagar refinery export oriented tag when the nation was short of critical cooking fuels such as LPG and kerosene. They have sought review of the export oriented tag and levy of windfall tax on it as well as other private refining entities and private crude producers.

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