25 February, 2021

‘I Hope The New System Is More Accountable’

The BJP’s 45-year-old petroleum minister of state (independent charge) deftly avoids any clear response...

Sanjay Rawat
‘I Hope The New System Is More Accountable’

Given that the government’s complicated relationship with the all-powerful Reliance Industries became a live election issue, all eyes are on Dharmendra Pradhan, the BJP’s 45-year-old petroleum minister of state (independent charge). Citing legal issues, the post-graduate in anthropology from Utkal University, Orissa, deftly avoids any clear response on the government’s plans to tackle the sharp drop in gas production from Reliance’s fields. It is only where PSUs are concerned that Pradhan reveals his intent to crack the whip to improve domestic production. Excerpts from an interview with Lola Nayar:

How have you arrived at the gas pricing formula and the price? Is it $5.2 or $5.6 per million British thermal unit (mBtu)?

The C. Rangarajan panel (which came up with a price of around $8 per mBtu in December 2012) had five points and the new gas pricing policy has five points—these are all esta­blished markets and we have nothing to hide....

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