Raha protests finance ministry plan to raise "cess"

Vol 5, PW 26 (27 Feb 02) News in Brief

ONGC chief Subir Raha is protesting finance ministry plans to fund post-APM subsidies on petro-products by raising the "cess" (tax) from the present Rs900 per tonne of oil produced to Rs1, 900 per tonne.

"If the cess is raised we will have no money to carry incremental finding costs, lifting costs, risks and new investments in India and overseas," Raha tells PETROWATCH. "How will we fund our NELP work programmes Oil companies fund exploration and production from internal resources, not through debt." He adds: "We are told we will get a windfall gain once APM is dismantled.

This is true if crude prices go up, but will we be compensated if prices fall"