The UPA government’s move to hike the price of natural gas from April 2014 would only favour a large private firm in the Krishna-Godavari D-6 (KG) basin instead of paving the way for self-sufficiency in natural gas production by 2030, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said on Monday, urging the Central government to immediately withdraw the proposed hike.
“Instead of facing action for drawing lesser gas than guaranteed from the KG D-6 Basin, this new policy would only help that large firm to net a huge profit,” the Chief Minister said.
Stating that the UPA government, which has the people’s mandate to be in power only till May 2014, has no moral right to fix the price of natural gas from April 2014, the CM said it would be appropriate for the new government which assumes office after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to fix the price.
“If the UPA government adamantly fails to withdraw the natural gas price now, the AIADMK which will be at the helm of affairs after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, will take steps to reverse it,” Jayalalithaa asserted.
The average price of imported gas is determined by a complex method based on rates in North America, Europe and Japan. As a result, natural gas prices would go up from $4.2 dollar to $ 8.4 a million British Thermal Unit from April 1, 2014.
“No one can accept adopting a similar method for fixing the price for natural gas which is produced within the country,” she said, adding that the price for indigenously produced natural gas should be fixed based on the production cost.