Oil minister to go easy on gas pricing issue

Talk about a major cause of concern for the people in India today, and the domestic gas price hike is sure to top the list. So much so that the new government, which is on a mission to resolve the irregularities in pricing of natural gas, may appoint a new panel to examine the gas pricing formula recommended the Rangarajan committee.

The central government might tweak a formula, suggested by the Rangarajan committee, to end the controversies around the impending increase in price of domestic natural gas, as the formula had issues related to calorific value of gas, and there was no clarity on whether it was based on gross calorific value or on net present value.

The old gas price, of $4.2 a million British thermal units (mBtu), had been set for five years that ended in March. It was expected the price would be doubled to $8.4 a mBtu. However Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is not yet ready to divulge any details regarding the pricing and hinted at examining all the aspects of the issue before zeroing in on the right price for the same.

Meanwhile the oil ministry is preparing a fresh proposal for the Cabinet to deregulate diesel, as revenue losses on the fuel is substantially low. It also announced that price of domestic LPG cylinders will not be increased and the number of subsidised refills given to consumers would continue. The government is also focusing on increasing oil and gas production in the country.

All we can say is that while people are pinning their hopes on the new government, it doesn’t seem like they are in a mood to disappoint the masses.