Rajasthan Government demands lion's share in Cairn project

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Barmer (Rajasthan), Aug.29 (ANI): The Government of Rajasthan on Saturday demanded a lion's share of the value added tax (VAT) that would be generated from the extraction of crude oil from the Mangala Processing Terminal ( MPT) here.

According to sources, the issue will be settled later when state government representatives meet the officials of this Cairns Energy India-ONGCjoint venture.

ONGC Chairman R.S. Sharma said that it would take at least four years to meet this demand of the Rajasthan Government, which was made by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Sharma said that the approach of the state government would determine the way forward on the issue of revenue sharing.

Officials attached with the joint venture said they are leaving no stone unturned in doing their bit for the local people.

The media contingent accompanying the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on the inaugural visit to the project site were shown the entrepreneural centre where various social projects for local people are showcased.

Cairn India CEO Rahul Dhir emphasised the point that the maximum number of labourers are locals, and added that out of the 700 contractors, a majority are local people.

Inaugurating the project, Dr. Singh said the present venture is an indication that foreign investment in the country will grow and that the Indian Government will honestly provide all facilities to attract foreign investment.

He also congratulated the technical personnel for successfully finding oil reserves.

It maybe recalled that the Dutch firm Shell had abandoned the search for oil in this desert area. cairn india then stepped in, and after four years of continuous labour, was able to discover oil. arlier, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora described the activation of the Mangala Processing Terminal ( MPT) as a historic achievement, as the crude oil production from this block will meet about 20 percent of the nation's current crude oil production.

He said this will enable the country to save seven percent of the crude oil import bill and reduce import dependence.

Deora also emphasised the need for stabilising crude oil prices for ensuring the sustained economic growth of the country, Deora said the MPT find is a significant step towards achieving this goal.

Cairn has invested about Rs.10000 crores in the area.

The total investment in this project will be more than Rs. 20000 crores. The government will get Rs. 46000 crores as profit petroleum revenue over the life of the project and will provide job opportunities for more than 6000 people.

According to company sources, the supply terminal to the Mangala field, the second largest oil discovery in the country in two decades, will be a giant step towards curtailing the country's oil import bill.

With an initial 30,000 barrels capacity per day (bpd), Cairn India plans to add another 1,00,000 bpd over the next 18 months.

Mangala oil field officials are confident of reaching the target of producing 1,75,000 bpd in the next 20 months.

The project would contribute more than 20 per cent of India's domestic crude oil production by 2011, the company sources said. By Pankaj Chaudhary (ANI)

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