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Sonia Gandhi to lay foundation stone of refinery in Rajasthan

NEW DELHI: Congress President Sonia Gandhi would lay the foundation stone of the 9-million tonne capacity oil refinery at Pachpadra town in Rajasthan's Barmerdistrict next month. 

"Rajasthan Chief Minister 
Ashok Gehlot and Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily met today to discuss the refinery project. The Petroleum Minister said its foundation-laying ceremony would be held in September. Sonia Gandhi would lay the foundation stone of this project," a Rajasthan government release said. 

During the meeting, Moily said the project will provide huge oil royalty to Rajasthan. 

Assembly polls are due in Rajasthan later this year. Gehlot requested the Petroleum Minister to authorise and nominate JV company to off-take crude from Block RJ-ON-90/1 and Barmer-Salaya pipeline for the import of crude in case of crude depletion from Barmer Block. 

He said the JV company is a venture of the government of Rajasthan and 
HPCLBSE 1.31 %under an agreement signed between them on 11 July, 2013. 

The Chief Minister said the actual formation of new JV company will be done after obtaining Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs clearance and it needs to be expedited. 

Gehlot also urged Moily to raise the issue of exemption of 50 per cent 
excise duty for 5 years on Rajasthan refinery project as per recommendation of Tripathi Committee with the Ministry of Finance. 

He said the 
Finance Ministry may consider excise duty exemption for the Rajasthan project as given to refineries in north-east region.