Budget disappointment for oil minister Ram Naik

Vol 6, PW 26 (12 Mar 03) News in Brief

Like last year oil minister Ram Naik was left disappointed by this year's national budget.

As reported in the last issue of PETROWATCH, Naik forwarded a 20-page wish list to finance minister Jaswant Singh but hardly any items figured in the budget. Top of Naik's list was increased tariffs on imported petroleum products to protect local refiners from Singapore imports.

Naik did not get this. Another key issue was 'rationalisation' of the taxes (cess) paid by ONGC and Oil India on the crude they produce.

Naik presented Singh with a table linking cess to global oil prices but here too he drew a blank. Naik's only consolation is that import tariffs on equipment for LNG regassification terminals have been halved to 26.67%.

But import tariffs on LNG stay at 5%.