People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 29

July 18, 2010

Oil Prices: Parliament Being Misled


CITU general secretary Tapan Sen, MP, sent the following letter to Murli Deora, minister of petroleum and natural gas, on July 7, 2010.


KINDLY refer to recent advertisements issued by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas wherein it has been stated that “Even after the price increase, the government will bear a financial burden of approximately Rs 53,000 crore during 2010-2011.” In this connection, I invite your attention to Para 1.14 and 1.16 from the report of the parliamentary standing committee on petroleum and natural gas on demand for grants (2010-2011), presented in parliament on April 22, 2010, which inter alia states:


“The non-plan budget of the ministry for 2010-2011 is Rs 3,142 crore, which mainly comprises subsidy for domestic LPG and PDS kerosene; freight subsidy on retail products for far flung areas; and subsidy for the supply of natural gas to the north eastern region. As regards the payment to oil marketing companies as compensation for under-recoveries in their domestic LPG and PDS kerosene, no allocation has been made in the current budget as against the amount of Rs 22,306.33 crore provided for the year 2009-2010 in RE.”


It also mentions that out of Rs 22,306.33 crore allocated for the year 2009-2010, there was cash outgo of only Rs 12,000 crore.


Kindly therefore confirm whether an amount of Rs 53,000 crore has recently been provided as compensation for the so called ‘under-recovery’ to the oil marketing companies.


You will kindly appreciate that in absence of such confirmation, it will be presumed that either the information furnished to the committee by the ministry was wrong or the advertised figure of Rs 53,000 crore is a notional figure without any factual basis meant to mislead the people. In that eventuality I shall be reluctantly compelled to move a motion of privilege in the house against those involved in misleading the parliament and the people.