Make 'Ease of doing business' a reality: Pradhan

Vol 22, PW 11 (21 Mar 19) People & Policy

Dharmendra Pradhan issued a stern warning to oil ministry and DGH officers during the DSF-2 signing ceremony for 23 contracts in Delhi on March 7.

Speaking in Hindi, Pradhan said "ease of doing business" shouldn't be just a slogan. "I have said it before and I am saying it again," said Pradhan, looking pointedly at oil secretary MM Kutty, additional secretary and financial advisor Rajiv Bansal and DGH boss VP Joy, seated alongside.

"We must facilitate exploration activity." Caught off guard, they smiled sheepishly.

Pradhan praised Joy as "competent" who would make working in the Indian E&P sector "joyful" for existing and new players. Pradhan's comments were heartily applauded by E&P representatives in the audience.

"This is a happy day for industry," he added. "Interest in India's E&P sector is growing.

DSF-2 is testament to that. Eight new companies have entered the sector and I congratulate them."

Pradhan continued that the 23 contract areas hold 190m tonnes (O+OEG) resources worth $14bn. "Increasing domestic production is our priority," said Pradhan.

"We have made many policy changes to increase production. I am happy that ONGC has also competed in this round and won blocks.

During DSF-1 we told ONGC not to bid." Launched on August 29 (2018) the DGH accepted 145 online bids by January 30 (2019) for 59 discovered small fields in 25 contract areas across 3042-sq km.