Tuesday, December 6, 2022

MoU with oil ministry not acceptable: Cong

Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) has termed the Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules 2012 as a “compromise” as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) and Nagaland State on uniformity of royalty payment was “not acceptable.”
NPCC president K. Therie reiterated that the Nagaland Ownership and Transfer of Land and Its Resources Act 1990 gives absolute authority to Nagaland State.
He said the MoU between the State and ONGC, which split revenue in the ratio of 22:78 between the state and the company respectively, was “not acceptable.
Therie maintained that the ratio should be not less than 51% in favour of Nagaland.
Therie also stated that special payment of 2% valorem should be in addition to the state’s 51% share. He demanded that a clause be included whereby the State Government has authority to terminate or restrain. Therie therefore, suggested that the state government examine MoUs of other nations.
According to Therie, Nagaland was not uniform with other states in view of Art.371(A), and that the MoU was, therefore, a “compromise.” He said that this was the reason the state continued to struggle and the matter was still under negotiation.
In the matter of Art.371(A), Therie said ever since the Nagaland Ownership and Transfer of Land and its Resources Act 1990, was sent for the President’s assent, it continued to be contested between the Centre and the State.
He said while the state claimed that the power to frame rules relating to Petroleum and Natural Gas vested with Nagaland as per Art 371(A)IV, the Centre on the other hand, claimed that this power over mineral resources was listed in the Union List.
Therie said the state’s argument was that in the foregoing note of Art.371(A) it clearly stated: “Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, no Act of Parliament shall apply to the contents of Art 371(A) unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides.”
In view of the above, Therie said the Union List did not come in the way and therefore, the State government should stand by the above interpretation.
As noted above, Therie said the notification issued under Schedule to the Oil Fields (Regulation and Development Act 1948) with regard to fees and royalties were not applicable.

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