Pradhan to miss gas price rise deadline

Vol 18, PW 3 (25 Sep 14) News in Brief

A decision on the new gas pricing structure has been delayed a further 45 days to November 15, following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday September 24.

It had looked increasingly unlikely oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan would announce the new pricing regime by the government’s self-imposed September 30 deadline. For one thing Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in the US that date.

“Is Pradhan going to announce the new pricing structure without Modi?” questions a power sector source. Also the government’s restrictive ‘model code of conduct’ kicked in from September 22 because of state assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on October 15.

“Now the government cannot make any important announcements until the elections are over,” we hear. In August the government set up a four-member panel of senior bureaucrats to look into gas pricing.

They submitted their recommendations to the oil ministry on September 18.