New Delhi: TMC MP Jawhar Sircar and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had a sharp exchange of words in the Rajya Sabha Monday after he asked Puri how much “profits” private oil companies made from import of cheaper Russian crude amid the Ukraine conflict.
This prompted the Chair to intervene and it directed the members to table letters exchanged between them on the issue in the past.
During the Question Hour, Sircar asked how much “profits” did two private oil companies make from import of cheaper Russian oil. To this, the minister for petroleum and natural gas said that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP has written several letters to him, and in every letter, he has asked the same question.
Puri said he has been replying to Sircar’s every query and is even ready to make public the record of his exchange of letters with the TMC member.
This led to exchange of words between the treasury and the opposition benches, prompting the Chair to say that the record between the two be tabled in the House.
“I think it will serve public interest that the communication sent by the member and the response emanating from the minister, both are tabled here,” Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said.
Sircar has alleged that public sector oil companies were unable to take advantage of cheaper oil from Russia as they were bound by long-term contracts, whereas two private oil companies made heavy profits by buying oil at rock-bottom spot prices. “How much profit did they (private oil companies) make?” Sircar asked.
Puri was replying to supplementary questions related to LPG subsidy.
“India has been the only major economy in the world where the prices of petrol and diesel have come down in the last two years,” he said in the written reply.