Crude oil royalty
BY OUR BUREAU
NEW DELHI/GUWAHATI, Aug 4: The Central government on Thursday facilitated the release of crude oil royalty at pre-discounted price when Oil India Limited and Oil and tural Gas Corporation Limited handed over cheques worth Rs 1449.88 crore to Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal at a function held at Assam Bhawan in New Delhi.
It may be mentioned that with the payment of differential royalty by OIL and ONGC, Assam has been entitled to crude oil royalty at pre-discounted price similar to Gujarat with effect from February 1, 2014. The amount paid by OIL is Rs 1,149.24 crore while the amount paid by ONGC is Rs 300.64 crore.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal thanked the Prime Minister who took the initiative in paying oil royalty at pre-discounted price to Assam. He also thanked the Union minister of State for Petroleum and tural Gas and oil companies for paying the outstanding royalty at one go.
Stating that the people of Assam are going through difficult times because of the recent waves of flood which have affected 28 districts, Sonowal said that the royalty received can be used for rehabilitation of flood-hit people. He also asked the oil companies to look for ways and means to increase production, as henceforth the progress of Assam will be intrinsically linked with oil production.
Union minister of State for Petroleum and tural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that effective from 2008-09, the royalty to oil producing States including Assam was being paid at post-discounted price which he termed as ‘grave injustice to the people of Assam.’ To remove the disparity being perpetrated on the State governments, his ministry under the directive of the Prime Minister took the initiative and facilitated the release of oil royalty at pre-discounted price.
It may be mentioned that as per statutory provisions, royalty on production of crude oil in Assam, is paid by ONGC and OIL to the State government. Effective from 2008-09, the royalty to all State governments including Assam was being paid on post-discounted price of crude oil realized by ONGC and OIL from the public sector oil marketing companies.
However, in view of the litigation arising out of the loss of royalty to producer States due to discounts being provided by the ONGC and OIL to oil PSUs and the decision of the Supreme Court dated February 13, 2014, the ministry of Petroleum and tural Gas decided to pay oil royalty to these States at pre-discounted price.
Assam Health and Family Welfare minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma also spoke on the occasion. Union minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, Water Resources minister Keshab Mahanta, several MPs mely RP Sarma, Ramen Deka, Bijoya Chakraborty, ba Sarania, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Rameshwar Teli, ONGC chairman DK Saraf, OIL chairman Utpal Bora and a host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.