Pradhan listens to all the moaning operators

Vol 19, PW 19 (02 Jun 16) People & Policy

Sometimes it's nice to have somebody listen patiently and attentively to your problems and worries.

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan is working hard to show E&P operators he's there for them, that he cares, and that the 'good times' promised by Narendra Modi when he became Prime Minister in May 2014 will soon be here. Pradhan held a meeting with E&P companies on May 27 at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi to hear their grievances.

Invitations were sent out by oil ministry director (exploration) Prashant Lokhande. "Initially the ministry invited only small operators," says a source that attended.

"Later they invited everyone. Companies were given till May 25 to submit points they wanted discussed." Also present was ministry additional secretary Ajay Sawhney; former additional secretary UP Singh; DGH chief Atanu Chakraborty and DGH group general manager (geophysics) CM Vardarajan.

"The meeting was supposed to start at 3.30pm but began around 4pm," we wear. "It was packed.

Ministry officials didn't expect so many people and had to arrange extra seats. Nearly 60 representatives from all the operators in India were present." Most of the grievances raised were specific to individual companies.

Common matters raised included environmental and defence clearances, exit policy, PSC extensions, Minimum Work Programme substitution and the costs of unfinished work programmes. Service Tax was also discussed.

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