New Delhi: Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily spoke against those opposing the government's move to put in place a new pricing regime for natural gas produced from domestic fields. Moily hit out at oil import lobbies saying they threaten all oil ministers.
"Every minister who occupies this position is threatened by the import lobby. The decision making power, the decision making process is obstructed and aborted. But, I cannot be threatened," Moily said.
The Left hit out at Moily for his comments and called him a 'first class liar'. CPI leaders Gurudas Dasgupta said, "He is a first class liar. Moily should go to court." "Oil Minister is a liar and a cheat, working for big corporates of the country," he added.
The Oil Ministry had earlier this year proposed an across-the-board near doubling of natural gas prices, which was rejected by the Cabinet Secretariat saying a ministerial panel headed by Defence Minister AK Antony did not have powers to do so. The Ministry had sent a draft proposal for the consideration of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) to price all domestically produced natural gas - be of state-run ONGC or private sector - as per the formula suggested by the Rangarajan Committee.
The Cabinet Secretariat had returned proposal saying that the new pricing formula, which would have led to prices going up from current $ 4.2 per million British thermal unit to about $ 8, was not covered under the EGoM's terms of reference.