Ram Naik lobbies Chautala for Indian Oil

Vol 5, PW 15 (12 Sep 01) Midstream & Downstream

Indian Oil's long delayed Panipat refinery expansion project has got a very powerful backer - none other than oil minister Ram Naik.

We learn Naik is shooting off a letter to Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala urging him to give the green signal for the project. "Indian Oil has plans for major investments in the state of Haryana by way of expansion of the existing capacity of the refinery from 6m tonnes a year to 12m t/y, setting up of a downstream petrochemical complex and joint venture power project with an investment of about Rs10,500cr ($2.3bn)," writes Naik.

"The refinery projects that have come up (or been) approved in the recent past in other states have been given major incentives by way of sales tax and entry tax exemption (or) deferment by other state governments. If similar incentives are not granted for the Panipat refinery, it will be at a disadvantageous position to compete with other refineries availing such incentives especially in the post-APM period fromApril 1st, 2002." Naik concludes his letter with an appeal.

"I shall therefore be grateful if the request of Indian Oil for granting these concessions could be considered favourably so that the project activities can proceed without further delay." Oil secretary Vijayendra Kaul has written an identical letter to Haryana chief secretary L.M Goyal.