Reliance eyes tax changes for local diesel sales

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New Delhi, Sept 29 : Petroleum Secretary R.S. Pandey on Monday said that the Reliance Industries wants tax changes to make diesel sales from its export-oriented refinery commercially viable in the domestic market.

Surging demand has forced state-run refiners to import diesel, while Reliance sells the same fuel overseas as domestic sales would attract heavy duties due to the tax concessions given to its refinery against a commitment to export.

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani declined comment after meeting Pandey, but the Oil Ministry's top bureaucrat Pandey said the two had discussed prospects for domestic sales.

"The thought has been that out of the quality which is exported, can something be bought by the oil marketing companies to augment the supply situation and on that he said he has absolutely no problems but the taxation issues which are additional burden should be sorted out," Pandey told reporters after the meeting.

Pandey further said that Ambani had informed him that the Krishna Godavari basin would start working from December end or early January.

Pandey said the new refinery would be commissioned by the end of the year, which is in line with the firm's target, although industry sources said in April that Reliance hoped to test-run the plant in July.

"He said that by the end of the year, precise date he (Mukesh Ambani) said I am not able to indicate, but by the end of the year, it should be possible. He said gas production would also start from end of December, early January, that is tentative," said Pandey.

Reliance runs 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) export-focused refinery at Jamnagar on country's west coast, and is close to commissioning a new 580,000 bpd plant nearby.

Together the two units will constitute the world's biggest refining complex.

Indian Oil Corporation's Director for Finance S.V. Narasimhan said growth in diesel sales had slowed down and the company would not import the fuel until December.

ANI

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