Natural gas price hike: Fearing public backlash, PM Narendra Modi govt eyes soft solution

Jun 23 2014, 21:25 IST
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PM Narendra Modi govt keen to take early decision, but doesn't want to add to already high inflation. (PTI) PM Narendra Modi govt keen to take early decision, but doesn't want to add to already high inflation. (PTI)
SummaryNarendra Modi seeks natural gas price hike that boosts production, but not consumers ire.

the new rate from April 1, when the old rate expired, would make only fertiliser costlier, which the government can subsidise.

No KG-D6 gas is supplied to power or CNG companies and the new rate would make its deepsea finds viable.

Sources said a final call on the rate to be implemented may be taken by the Cabinet.

The Rangarajan formula calls for pricing rates at an average cost of importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) into India and rates prevailing at international hubs in the US and UK as well as the price of gas imported into Japan.

Sources said there is a thought that high-priced Japanese imports, which have no relevance to India, should be excluded from the formula to limit the gas price increase to about USD 7-7.5.

The previous UPA government had in December last year approved the new formula for pricing all domestic gas from April 1 but the general elections were declared before the new rate could be announced.

The oil ministry had on April 21 told Reliance Industries, which had been supplying gas from its eastern offshore KG-D6 field at the old price of USD 4.2 even after it expired on March 31, that the new rate will be implemented from July 1.

Sources said the government does not want to miss this deadline.

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