Oil & Gas reforms on front burner
Moily said his ministry has just prepared a Cabinet note, endorsing the Rangarajan panel’s proposal that all future oil and gas contracts will be based on a simple revenue-sharing criterion, without regard to cost recovery.
The oil ministry, he said, was going to soon place before the newly set-up Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) proposals to fast-track approvals for over 20 offshore exploration blocks which have not got defence ministry clearance for a long time, despite production sharing contracts being signed by investors. These are among 52 blocks awaiting defence/environment clearances where Indian and foreign companies have already invested $12.4 billion. India is holding back clearances for more than a fifth of the exploratory blocks it has auctioned in various rounds since 1999 to domestic and overseas energy explorers due to defence, environmental and maritime boundary issues.
Last Thursday’s one-liner from the oil ministry to the three state-run OMCs had merely allowed them to make “small price corrections (in retail diesel prices) from time to time.” Apparently acting
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