New Delhi: A group of ministers, formed to look into pricing and utilisation of natural gas produced from new fields like the KG-D6 of Reliance Industries, is likely to hold its first meeting on 27 August.
The Empowered Group of Ministers, headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is slated to decide on pricing and utilisation of gas based on inputs from a committee of secretaries (CoS) and the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (EAC) that went into the whole issue.
RIL, drawing from its right under the contract for KG-D6 block, mooted an increase in gas price from $4.33 per million British thermal unit to $4.58, rates opposed by key consuming sectors like fertilizer and power, and Mukesh’s younger brother Anil.
The CoS, under Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, in its report upheld RIL’s right to fix the price of gas, saying the sovereign commitment given in NELP can’t be altered.
It, however, asked Petroleum Ministry to frame a Natural Gas Utilisation Policy and Natural Gas Pricing Policy before approving RIL’s gas price.
EAC, on the other hand, found RIL’s pricing formula to conform to market practice and said allocations made to priority sectors (like fertilizer and power) should only be at a market driven price. It, however, wanted RIL to invite bids for setting the price again.
The EGoM comprises of Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Fertilizer Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Law Minister H R Bhardwaj, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta.