Regulatory Board file pending with PMO

Vol 11, PW 1 (17 May 07) News in Brief

Uncertainty continues over when exactly the new Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board will start work.

PETROWATCHlearns a file with the names of the chairman and members of the board has been lying in the office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for more than two months. No guesses when it will be placed before Singh.

Foreign and private investors in India’s downstream and gas sectors are clamouring for a regulator but, clearly, this is not a priority for the bureaucrats in charge of the PMO. All approvals from the oil ministry and the department of personnel and training are in place, making the delay all the more frustrating.

From the PMO the file will go for approval to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and then the board will be set up. Unless there’s a change by the PMO or the ACC, retired bureaucrat L.

Mansingh will be the oil and gas regulator. Among other board members will be former HPCL chairman MB Lal and former GAIL director BS Negi.