ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Malaise in the Natural Gas Sector

A deep malaise in India's natural gas sector underlies the spat between the Ambani oligarchs.

The public squabble between the two ever-quarrelling oligarchs, Anil Ambani of Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), on the supply and pricing of natural gas is only symptomatic of a deeper and larger malaise – the indifference and even abdication of the central government towards the management of this very valuable natural resource.

A sector that witnessed 100 new discoveries over the last few years, whose production value is estimated to be equivalent to about 15% of the country’s gross domestic product, has seen a failure in the functioning of various institutions that are meant to manage it. There are serious concerns about governance across virtually all segments – from upstream exploration and production to downstream distribution and usage (see “Shortcomings in Governance of the Natural Gas Sector”, EPW, 25 July).

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