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India moving towards a new gas policy, a new tariff policy: Pradhan

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has hinted at bringing in a new gas policy and the much-awaited gas exchange soon

  • We are moving towards a new gas policy, a new tariff policy. We are planning for a gas exchange very soon and we will be liberalising our distribution mechanisms, said Pradhan

  • The minister also hinted that India favours reasonable prices that gives space to producer countries

New Delhi: At a time when natural gas production has been rendered economically unviable under the current pricing formula, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan hinted at bringing in a new gas policy and the much-awaited gas exchange. The minister also hinted that India favours reasonable prices that gives space to producer countries. While speaking at the latest edition of CERAWeek Conversations series on Friday, Pradhan said, “We have to have a reasonable price. India is a major consumer. But at this juncture, India’s viewpoint is the price should be reasonable and responsible. Very low prices are not the answer. Reasonable prices are the answer.” 

“Oil prices should give some space to the producer countries. It should be profitable for them; it should be viable for them,” he added. The statement comes in the backdrop of global oil prices plunging to $18.10 a barrel, the lowest since November 2001. Since then, rates have risen to $30 per barrel.

‘India moving towards a new gas policy, a new tariff policy’

Commenting on energy policy priorities following the COVID lockdowns, he said, “We are moving towards a new gas policy, a new tariff policy. We are planning for a gas exchange very soon and we will be liberalising our distribution mechanisms.” The statement is significant because natural gas prices in India have dipped to their lowest in more than a decade, leading to losses in businesses for producers like ONGC.

Pradhan also added that in the aftermath of the COVID lockdown, the government will be looking to push city gas expansion. “We are very much focussed, after relaxing this lockdown, on the job of implementing the city gas distribution network expansion. It will give two things. One, it will create a long-term futuristic energy infrastructure in the majority of the country. Two, at this juncture we need more job opportunities, more employment generation and this is a perfect plan for our gas expansion story,” he said.