New Delhi: The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is hopeful of resolving issues relating to taxation of petroleum products with the Finance Ministry in a manner that would not affect the investor sentiment for the bidding process of NELP VII, Mr. Murli Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said on Monday.
Speaking to media persons after inaugurating the 5th Asia Gas Partnership Summit, organized jointly by GAIL and FICCI, Mr. Deora said: “We do not consider the tax issues to be a deal-breaker in so for as NELP VII is concerned. The last date for receipt of investor bids is April 25, 2008, and we are hopeful that the issues would be resolved before that.”
Asked about responses for the upcoming exploration round and whether the tax issues would affect the sentiment, Mr. M. S Srinivasan, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas said, past experience shows that 85-90% of the responses come in during the last two days of the deadline for the receipt of exploration bids. A clear picture would emerge only then, he said, adding that the issues regarding taxation would be amicably resolved.
Mr. Deora said, he would be traveling to Islamabad next week for vital discussions on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. The meeting would be held on April 23 and 24, which will be followed up with bilateral talks with the Pakistani authorities. “There are some issues such as the charges to be levied by Pakistan for transit fees, but I am optimistic that we would be able to resolve them,” he said. A technical team from India would be leaving for Islamabad on Tuesday to lay the groundwork for the discussions on the pipeline, the Minister said.
Regarding the issuance of oil bonds, Mr. Deora said, the Cabinet Committee has decided that the Finance Ministry will determine the quantum of bonds to be issued in consultation with the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.