No progress until appointment of 'Gas Commissioner'

Vol 5, PW 6 (09 May 01) People & Policy

After the 'Gujarat Gas Bill', what next Appointment of a 'Gas Commissioner' to oversee the distribution of licences to companies interested in transporting gas through the gas grid.

Sadly state officials don't appear in a hurry to appoint one. A 'Gas Commissioner' should have been appointed when governor Bhandari signed the original gas ordinance on December 19th last year but the appointment file has been sitting with state energy and petrochemicals minister Kaushik Patel for the past three months! Gujarat Gas, Vadodara Municipal Corporation and others complain in private that time is running out.

It is mandatory that they apply for gas distribution licences within three months of the Gujarat Gas Bill's enactment, i.e.

, by end-July. But without a 'Gas Commissioner' in place, they are helpless.

Who do they approach What documents do they need to submit What are the rules governing the process All questions that will remain unanswered until there's a 'Gas Commissioner'. Separately we learn that PriceWaterhouseCoopers has submitted the draft of a licence agreement that will be signed between state authorities and companies that successfully bid for a gas circle.

Earlier thinking envisaged 11 circles, offered via open tender. Price Waterhouse is now believed to be recommending five circles.

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