India opens biggest city gas licensing round

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New Delhi | Published: May 8, 2018 5:25:49 PM

Bidding of the biggest city gas distribution licensing round opened in India, on Tuesday, offering 86 permits for selling CNG and piped cooking gas in 174 districts in 22 states and union territories.

Biggest city gas licensing round starts (Image: corporateethos.com)

Bidding of the biggest city gas distribution licensing round opened in India, on Tuesday, offering 86 permits for selling CNG and piped cooking gas in 174 districts in 22 states and union territories. As many as 86 geographical areas (GAs), made by clubbing adjacent districts, are on offer in the 9th city gas distribution (CGD) bidding round, according to oil regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).

The GAs cover 24 percent of the country’s area and 29 percent of its population, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at a roadshow organised here to promote the round. The round is likely to attract an investment of Rs 70,000 crore, a PNGRB presentation made at the roadshow said. The last day for bidding is July 10. Pradhan said the government is targeting to raise the share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15 percent from current 6 percent, in next few years.

The bid round is also aimed at meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of giving piped cooking gas connection to 1 crore households, roughly triple the current size, by 2020. CGD licences for Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, Ludhiana and Jalandhar in Punjab, Barmer, Alwar and Kota in Rajasthan, Coimbatore and Salem in Tamil Nadu, Allahabad, Faizabad, Amethi and Rai Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Dehradun in Uttarakhand and Burdwan in West Bengal are on offer.

Prior to the 9th round, 91 GAs were awarded to firms like Indraprastha Gas Ltd and GAIL Gas Ltd, which are serving 240 million population, 42 lakh domestic consumers and 31 lakh CNG vehicles. Of these, 56 GAs were awarded through bidding rounds and the rest on government nomination. The bid round is being held on changed parameters after ‘one paisa’ bids spoilt the initial auction rounds.

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