TODAY -

'GOI's auctioning of oil blocks will affect peace process'
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Dimapur, September 21 2015: Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has reiterated that auctioning of Oil Blocks by the Government of India would have an adverse effect on the Naga peace process and requested the Government of India to reconsider its decision to auction oil blocks which are located in Nagaland.

In a letter addressed to the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, and delivered to him by the Principal Resident Commissioner this afternoon, TR Zeliang quoted media reports on the decision of the Government of India to put up for competitive bidding the 69 marginal oil fields which have been held by ONGC and OIL, but which have not been exploited.

"It appears from these reports that there are a few Oil Blocks located in Nagaland which are included in this list of 69 oil fields to be opened for competitive bidding.

As you are aware, the State of Nagaland has framed the Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulations 2012 and the Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules 2012 in accordance with Article 371-A(1) (a) of the Constitution of India.

Under these Rules and Regulations, the Government of Nagaland has already invited Expressions of Interest from interested oil companies, and is in the process of allocating the oil blocks in Nagaland.

In view of this, it is felt that opening up oil fields located within Nagaland to competitive bidding by the Government of India is not appropriate," Zeliang said.

He also said that such a decision by the Government of India at this juncture would have an "adverse impact on the on-going peace negotiations to resolve the Naga political issue, which is in an advanced stage now" .

"It is understood that that a clear definition of the subject matter relating to ownership of land and its resources in Nagaland as mentioned in Article 371 A of the Constitution of India is one of the key issues to be resolved in the Naga political dialogues," he said.

"In view of the above, I would request you to kindly consider the matter and exclude the oil blocks in Nagaland from the purview of the proposed competitive bidding" .

It may be mentioned here that the Chief Minister along with Parliamentary Secretary for Geology and Mining Dr Imtiwapang Aier had camped in New Delhi for a week seeking for an appointment with the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, but had to return to Nagaland last Saturday since the Minister was said to be preoccupied with elections in Bihar.


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