Centre to help Assam in claiming oil royalty: Pradhan

Guwahati, June 24 (IANS) Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday said that the central government will extend all possible help to Assam in claiming its oil royalty of Rs. 1450 crores, which was due.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, he said that the Union and state governments have resolved to start the legal process for claiming its due oil royalty from OIL and ONGC, which was pending due to a case in Supreme Court.

Pradhan explained that although the Supreme Court is yet to decide on the oil royalty since 2008, it has asked the oil majors to pay the royalty from 2014 till date to Gujarat, who had approached the apex court. However, Assam was still deprived of its dues of Rs 1,450 crore by the two oil majors.

“We have resolved to start the legal process so that the Assam gets its dues as oil royalty. The central government will extend all possible help to the state government in this regard,” Pradhan said while adding that he had also told the former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to approach the court regarding the payment.

“The then Assam government, however, did not take up the matter seriously and the payment was not received by the state so far,” he said and hoped that the new BJP government in Assam will take up the matter without any delay.

Pradhan also said that the central government had taken up with the OIL and ONGC regarding the supply of natural gas to the two gas-based thermal power projects in Namrup and Lakwa.

“Instructions have been made to the OIL and ONGC to fulfill the gas requirement for the two power plants, which will help meet the state’s increasing power requirement,” he said adding that the total power requirement to these two power plants and is estimated to be about 9 MM CMD.



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