‘PNGRB has no power to grant gas licences’
The HC on September 21 ruled that since the government had not notified Section 16 of the PNGRB Act, the oil regulator did not have powers to grant authorisation for beginning city gas distribution.
‘‘High Court judgements are law of the land ... (and) the power (to issue city gas licences) rests with the Union government,’’ petroleum secretary S Sundareshan told reporters here.
Sundareshan said the Section 16 gave explicit powers to PNGRB to issue authorisations for city gas operations and since the government choose not to notify it, the Board headed by L Mansingh did not have such powers.
The Board was constituted in 2007 without Section 16 of the Act being notified. It last year issued city gas licences for six cities and in the second round finalised licensees for seven more cities.
Sundareshan said the government proposes to amend the PNGRB Act to correct the lacunae of Sector 16 and deal with the issue of authorisation of companies that had begun city gas operations before PNGRB came into being.
‘‘Any authorisation given by the Board cannot be termed as a valid authorisation as Section 16 of the PNGRB Act has not yet been notified by the government,’’ the High court had stated.
Sundareshan said the petroleum
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