Anger at gas audit

Vol 14, PW 5 (26 Aug 10) News in Brief

Gas retailers are seething over a demand from the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board for a mandatory technical audit of their operations.

“We will be forced to pay anything between Rs10 lakh ($21,332) and Rs25 lakh ($53,330) as audit agency fees,” a disgruntled source tells PETROWATCH. “This can’t be negotiated.

” On August 16, the Board said it had appointed ABS Industrial Verification to audit gas retailers. This is the sixth or seventh such agency appointed by the Board in the last few months: others include state-owned companies Projects and Development India, MECON and private agencies like Tractebel.

Gas retailers, adds a cynical observer, will also incur additional expenses while taking ‘good care’ of audit agency inspectors and “treating them 'well’ so they don’t spoil the report.” When contacted, ABS asserts that the Quality Council of India recommended it to the gas regulator.

The Board wants all reports submitted by the October 12 deadline.

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