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Natural gas, ATF should be within GST in the next Budget: Pradhan

Dharmendra Pradhan said that natural gas, along with aviation turbine fuel, may soon be included in the GST fold
New Delhi: Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, said on Thursday that natural gas, along with aviation turbine fuel (ATF), may soon be included in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) fold, by the time the next Union Budget is announced. Speaking at the second edition of ‘India Gas Infrastructure Conference 2019’ on the theme ‘Indian Gas Sector – Ushering in an era of Growth’, organised by FICCI, Pradhan said, “GST (on natural gas) is not too far. Both ATF and natural gas have long been desired under GST.”

‘India needs to bring natural gas within GST’

Sandip Somany, President, FICCI, said that the country’s policies towards greening the energy mix is taking place in the past couple of years with coal and oil usage reducing, giving way to renewables, gas and electric mobility. “India needs to incentivise domestic gas production by providing an enabling fiscal and regulatory regime,” Somany said, and added that the government needs to bring natural gas under the ambit of GST at the base rate of 5 percent at par with coal.

‘India investing $60 billion in gas pipeline’

“We are investing $60 billion in building gas pipeline and terminal infrastructure,” said Pradhan. Innovation is the key to growth in the energy sector and all must focus on promoting and adopting natural gas, bioenergy, renewable and other clean, sustainable sources of energy, he added. The country needs 600 MMSCMD gas to achieve the target of 15 percent share in India’s total energy consumption by 2030, he said and added that the government is giving priority to city gas distribution (CGD), compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG).

‘Bioenergy possesses huge potential’

“Just like natural gas, bioenergy also possesses huge potential, especially in addressing the rising environmental concerns and providing a solution to the menace of air pollution. For this, 500 LOIs have already been issued to set up compressed bio gas (CBG) plants across India by the government,” Pradhan said.

‘Natural gas will play critical part in $5-trillion economy’

BC Tripathi, former CMD, GAIL (India) Ltd, and Chairman, FICCI Hydrocarbons Committee, said that the retail sector will play the anchor role for natural gas 4-5 years down the line. Natural gas has to play a critical part when we are striving to become a $5 trillion economy, he added. “The recent reforms will bring in almost $90 billion investment along the gas value chain with almost $40 billion alone in the infrastructure,” he said.