Fertiliser and power ministries delay new oil law

Vol 8, PW 23 (23 Feb 05) News in Brief

Expect more delay before we see an independent gas and downstream oil regulator or any move to free domestic gas prices.

A senior oil ministry source tells us the long-pending Petroleum Regulatory Board Bill will not be passed into law by parliament during the budget session beginning 25th February. Earlier this month the Bill was sent to a Group of (cabinet) Ministers but it seems they didnt find time to go through an accompanying oil ministry Note on the revision of gas prices and - much to the oil ministrys dismay decided to send it to the Committee of Secretaries for more examination.

After that it will return to the Group of Ministers ahead of submission to parliament. There doesnt seem to be any urgency on these issues with other ministries, reveals an oil ministry source.

The fertiliser and power ministries feel that an independent regulator (in the oil sector) will raise prices.