Is there enough steam in the allegations that have been made by Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan over the Krishna Godavari basin gas deal with Reliance Industries? Or will Kejriwal’s allegations this time around amount to nothing?
Speaking to CNN-IBN, Sunil Jain, opinion editor of The Financial Express said, “Kejriwal’s allegation is a mixture of fact and fiction. He does not know how the international bidding process works. According to him, the only mistake that the government made is to not have started another bidding process.”
In addition to this, there also remains the issue that none of these facts were outside the public domain, said senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. He said, “ The production sharing contract was heavily weighted aginst the government – a fact made public by the CAG”.
But will Kejriwal’s allegations result in any concrete action being taken?
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta feels that the contract and the subsequent removal of Jaipal Reddy from the petroleum ministry does reek of cronyism in action. The government and Jaipal Reddy were not seeing eye to eye in a number of issues like price of gas, capital expenditure to be reimbursed and number of wells dug in the KG basin issue, he said.
But this might not be the entire story.
Siddharth Zarabi, Economic Policy Editor of CNBC-TV18 said, “Other than the KG basin multiple approvals are stuck with the government. Also cost overrun by itself does not mean anything, “implicating that there are finer points to be discussed.
According to him, the government is also in trouble because they themselves tried to fix the price of gas. “Why can’t they give it to a regulator?”, he added.