Rajasthan: State govt, HPCL sign agreement for ?43129 cr Barmer refinery

Paterniano Del Favero
Aprile 20, 2017

"As per the earlier MoU, in case at any time the production/availability of indigenous crude oil in Rajasthan was more than 4.5-MMTPA, the amount of interest free loan by the state government was to be reduced proportionately", Gehlot said."Since the indigenous production capacity has now reached 9.1-MMTPA, which means there is no need to import 4.5-MMTPA, the HPCL has agreed to the reduction in interest-free loan from Rs 3736-cr to Rs 1123-cr". The Union minister should have made the contents of the MoU public.

Ending years of speculation on the fate of the Barmer refinery, the Rajasthan government on Tuesday signed a re-worked MoU with HPCL to resume the big infra project, claiming the new deal would save the state over Rs 40,000 crore.

"The project was delayed by four years resulting in revenue loss for state and delay in employment generation. This loss combined together is much more than ₹40,000 crore that state claims to have saved", Gehlot said. "State's stake has not been increased but the project's cost has increased by nearly Rs 6000-cr, from Rs 37,229-cr to Rs 43,119-cr, due to the present government's delay". Even the revised MoU has fixed state's equity at 26%, he said. Under the new terms and conditions, the refinery cost has come down to Rs 16,845 crore, which was Rs 56,040 crore in the previous MoU done by the Congress government in 2013, Pradhan said.

Dudi said the Raje is an "MoU Expert" but she lags in following-up any project. "If the RRI is less in the revised MoU, then the state will earn less profit", he said.

Gehlot said that "Instead of presenting half truths, Dharmendra Pradhan, who is Petroleum Minister, and under whom HPCL comes, should have checked or rather probed both the MoUs so that the actual position becomes clearer".

Government of Rajasthan will provide a viability gap funding of Rs 1,123 crore per year for 15 years starting from the year of commercial production in the form of interest-free loan which shall be refunded by the JV company to the Rajasthan government in the next 15 years, according to the official statement.

Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, questioned the delay in setting up of the refinery. We had asked Cairn India in 2003 to set up the refinery and even initiated talks with the ONGC.

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