New Delhi: Days ahead of its own deadline for the revision of natural gas prices, government today postponed a decision on it by another 45 days to November 15.
The NDA government, after coming to power, had put off implementation of the previous UPA-regime approved Rangarajan formula, which would have at least doubled rates to USD 8.4 per million British thermal unit, till September 30 for holding wider consultations.
The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi deferred a decision on the issue till November 15, Law and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.
Incidentally, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not attend today’s Cabinet meeting as he is yet to be discharged from the hospital where he was admitted on Sunday evening for a post-surgery check-ups.
The UPA government had in June last year approved a price formula suggested by a panel headed by C Rangarajan and re-confirmed it in December 2013 with certain conditions for Reliance Industries’ eastern offshore KG-D6 block.
The formula was to be implemented from April 1, 2014 but before a rate could be notified, general elections were announced and Election Commission asked the then government to defer it till completion of polls.
On June 25, the new BJP-led government deferred it for a further three months as it found doubling of rates as per the approved formula unpalatable.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had recently told Parliament that a new gas price will be announced by September end.
In August-end, the government constituted a four member panel of secretaries to review the formula. The committee comprising of secretaries of power, fertiliser and expenditure with additional secretary in the Oil Ministry as its member secretary, last week submitted its recommendation on a new pricing mechanism.