Monday, August 6, 2012

Jaipal's defense of gas diversion Bureaucratic, says Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today characterized Union Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy's defense of gas allocation to Ratnagiri power plant at the expense of Andhra Pradesh as bureaucratic.

Addressing a media conference, Dr. JP recalled that the Union Cabinet committee had decided in 2008 to allocate the available gas to fertilizer plants, domestic users and power plants in that order of priority. The committee, however, placed the Ratnagiri power plant on par with fertilizer plants for gas allocation.

The gas production from Reliance's D 6 block of the Krishna-Godavari basin at that time was 80 MMSCMD and was expected to go up to 120 MMSCMD by now. Instead, the availability has plunged to 29 MMSCMD now.

Sticking to the biased 2008 decision in 2012 when there has been a steep shortfall in gas production is unwarranted, said Dr. JP. As Union Petroleum Minister, Mr. Jaipal Reddy ought to have brought the changed circumstances to the notice of the Union Cabinet and ensured that no injustice was rendered to Andhra Pradesh in the process.

Dr. JP appealed to all political parties to transcend differences and fight for justice in gas allocation.

In reply to a question, Dr. JP said that Team Anna Hazare's plans to float a political party cannot be faulted. It is because most political parties have lost public confidence that Team Anna has come up with the idea.

Commenting on BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu's comment that the Team Anna Party will end up like the Lok Satta, Dr. JP said that winning elections at a time votes are bought with money and liquor might be difficult. Had the established parties worked for basic political reforms, there would have been no need for a Lok Satta Party or a Team Anna Party, Dr. JP added. The question is not whether Team Anna or the Lok Satta will win elections or not but whether the status quo should be allowed to continue. Why have not established parties like the Congress and the BJP with a lot of clout and money not taken up basic reforms like empowerment of local bodies or constitution of a National Judicial Commission, asked Dr. JP.

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