Oil and gas legislation returns to Lok Sabha

Vol 9, PW 23 (09 Mar 06) News in Brief

We should soon know the fate of the long-awaited Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Bill.

On 9th March, the latest version of the Bill to permit the creation of a downstream and gas regulator was tabled before MPs in Indias lower house (Lok Sabha) following its approval by the upper house (Rajya Sabha) on 2nd March. Still unclear is what will happen to the Bill when it is re-tabled before lower house MPs.

They can either pass the Bill or send it to a select committee for further examination, says a ministry source. Or they can keep it aside for debate or reject it.

Unless the Bill passes both houses and is approved by the President of India it cannot become law. Under scrutiny is the latest draft of the Bill, prepared three months ago, but which has been drafted and re-drafted several times since its introduction to parliament in May 2002, first after revisions by a select committee and then after the new government came to power in 2004.