Communist Party of India (Marxist) in India’s northeastern state, Tripura on Thursday (3) opposed the federal government’s decision to permit mining giant Vedanta to explore crude oil and natural gas in the state describing it as a ‘poly’ to weaken public sector undertaking (PSU) oil and gas companies.
The joint secretary of the India’s ministry of petroleum and natural gas in a communication to Tripura state chief secretary LK Gupta in December said, the Indian government has signed 55 revenue sharing contracts with the firms who have been awarded petroleum exploration blocks under the first round of hydrocarbon exploration and licensing policy (HELP) and open acreage licensing policy (OALP) for exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas.
According to the communication sent to Tripura state government, one exploration block has been awarded to Vedanta for exploration, production of crude oil and natural gas. Accordingly, Vedanta must apply to the Tripura state government for grant of Petroleum Exploration Licenses (PELs).
The federal government has also asked Tripura state government to support speedy clearance to ensure the smooth flow of investment in the project.
A statement from CPI (M) has said that the PSU, ONGC is exploring crude oil and natural gas in the state for the past 50 years. It played a significant role in extracting the crude oil and natural gas to fulfil the energy needs of Tripura and its neighbouring states.
The Tripura state CPI(M) unit alleged that the federal government’s decision aims to weaken ONGC. The party has also urged the people to register their protest against the latest decision from the federal government on Vedanta.