New Delhi: Questioning the idea of market-determined prices for natural gas favoured by the petroleum ministry, the Planning Commission on Tuesday said the government had a role to play given the shortage of the fuel.
“In fact, there should be a regulator for the petroleum sector with the power to fix prices,” Kirit Parikh, Planning Commission member said.
Parikh’s comments came a day after petroleum ministry told a meeting of committee of secretaries (CoS) the government had no role in fixing prices of gas as the terms in New exploration licensing policy allowed operators to sell the fuel at market prices.
Earlier, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had also sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for appointment of a regulator for natural gas while apprehending that market-discovered prices being sought by Reliance Industries would lead to a “monopolistic” situation.
The Energy Coordination Committee, headed by Singh, had earlier referred to the CoS the pricing of natural gas, an issue on which Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and Anil Ambani Group are having differences.