After Robert Vadra, Salman Khurshid and Nitin Gadkari, Arvind Kejriwal of India Against Corruption has now taken on Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Industries. At a press conference, IAC accused the government of helping Reliance charge whimsical rates for the KG basin gas sold to government power companies which, in turn, raised the prices of electricity across the country. An audio clip allegedly containing a tele-talk between Neera Radia, corporate lobbyist and Ranjan Bhattcharya, foster son-in-law of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was also played and released on the occasion. In the tape, Ranjan asks Neera whether Mukesh was happy with what had been done.
The key accusations levelled by IAC are
A. In 2006, Mani Shankar Aiyer was removed and Murli Deora brought in to increase RIL capex from $ 2.39 billion to $ 8.8 billion and to increase gas price from $2.34 per mmBTU to $ 4.2 per mmBTU.
B. Recently, Jaipal Reddy was removed and Veerappa Moily brought in to increase gas prices from $ 4.2 per mmBTU to $ 14.2 mmBTU.
C. Huge benefits to RIL in the last decade despite flagrant violations including its commitment to provide gas to a state-owned power company. Benefits to RIL caused serious price rise in the country.
D. If RIL demand of increasing the gas price to $ 14.2 is accepted, it would lead to closure of several gas-based power plants. Power and fertilizer prices will increase. It would result in Rs 43,000 crore of additional benefits to RIL.
E. Both the BJP and the Congress are involved in the KG Basin deals with RIL. The BJP had signed the KG basin deal with RIL in 2000 and the Congress implemented it.