EC's order to defer gas price hike goes against govt.'s policy: CII
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Tuesday expressed its concerns and reservations on the Election Commission's decision to defer the government's proposal on gas prices, and said that it would go against the stated government policy and adversely impact investment decisions of the oil and gas industry. "We would like to reiterate that it is only a computation decision where the formula is pre-fixed on the basis of a cabinet decision. The decision to hold back price revisions could have a long term impact on the investment climate in this crucial sector," said CII President Kris Gopalakrishnan.
The final modalities of calculating the price was notified on January 10, 2014 - around 2 months before the model code of conduct came into effect on March 5.
To keep gas prices suppressed at the existing level, which is almost at half of the estimated revised prices, would come as a bonanza for poll-bound consumers, which by itself may be treading on the model code of conduct.
The decision to revise prices of natural gas was taken by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs on June 27 2013, almost nine months ago. Energy scarcity and the need for ensuring its security has been a constant policy pillar in government policies.
Fixing the actual price as per the formula is a procedure to be followed every quarter using actual data, some components of which are available only on the 14th of the preceding month before the quarter for which the price is calculated and fixed.
Hence in this case, the price for April-June has been calculated based on actual data that came in on March 14th.
(Posted on 26-03-2014)