Moily refuses to comment on poll panel's decision on gas pricing
Union Oil Minister, Veerappa Moily on Tuesday refused to comment on the Election Commission asking the government to defer the proposal to hike gas prices which was set to come into effect from April 01 prior to the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for next month.
Moily said his ministry would consult law officers before commenting.
"We will be consulting the solicitor general or the attorney general. I don't want to give any reaction until our ministry consults them," Moily said.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Gurudas Dasgupta welcomed the decision.
"This is a quite right decision firstly because it is controversial decision. Secondly, a case is pending. Thirdly, the code of conduct has come into effect therefore in such a situation they (government) can't ask for any permission. Therefore, the Election Commission has not given the permission. It is quite right and I welcome it," he said.
The government last year approved a near doubling of gas prices to spur investment in exploration for gas and boost returns for firms including state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS).
Some political parties, however, interpreted the move as aimed primarily at helping energy conglomerate Reliance, which has been calling for an increase in prices when the contract for sales from its gas block off the east coast expires on March 31.
(Posted on 26-03-2014)