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Naik skirts debate on oil dues

Aligarh, May 24 (PTI): Virtually turning down the request by Reliance to step in to settle its Rs 613 crore dues from oil PSUs, petroleum minister Ram Naik today said he was confident that the two sides would be able to settle the issue mutually.

“The issue of dues between Reliance Petroleum and the state-owned oil companies would be solved without my intervention,” Naik told reporters here after dedicating Indian Oil’s Rs 17.5-crore LPG bottling plant and simultaneous launch of 5-kg LPG cylinders.

Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani had met Naik last week seeking intervention for settlement of the Rs 613 crore outstanding on account of sale of kerosene and LPG from its Jamnagar refinery to oil PSUs including Indian Oil Corporation.

“I am confident the issue would be resolved by both the parties,” he said and added “If required I may intervene, but I don’t think such a situation would arise.”

Ambani briefed the petroleum minister about the pending amount after the oil marketing companies had refused to pay Reliance the import parity price for cooking gas and kerosene.

The oil companies owe Reliance Rs 199 crore for kerosene and Rs 414 crore for cooking gas.

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