Millennium Post

‘All views to be considered before deciding on gas price’

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet will consider the impact of proposed hike in natural gas prices on power tariff and fertiliser subsidy before taking a decision on increasing the rates, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday.
Commenting on CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta's allegations that a ‘gigantic scam’ was in the making in the Oil Ministry's proposal to hike gas prices, Chidambaram said the Cabinet will consider all views carefully before taking a decision.
The Oil Ministry has moved a Cabinet note proposing a hike in prices of natural gas produced by state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) as well as private firms like RIL to $6.7 per million British thermal unit from current $4.2 per mmBtu.
The hike proposed is as per the formula suggested by a panel appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh under his economic adviser C Rangarajan. Chidambaram said though he had not seen the Oil Ministry's Cabinet note, the report of the Rangarajan panel was ‘more or less in the public domain’.
‘Why did we apoint the Rangarajan Committee? The Rangarajan Committee was appointed to look into the matter.
‘So, why do we appoint a committee? Why do we take a report and why do we put it out in public domain, if there is no intention or there should be no intention to act upon the report,’ he said.
‘I am sure, all views will be eloquently presented in the Cabinet and all views will be carefully considered’, Chidambaram said. PTI
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