Will have to wait: Cong on consensus on move to hike natural gas prices

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 24 June 2013, 08:52 PM

Congress on Moday dismissed reports of differences in government over a proposal to hike natural gas prices as a decision on it was deferred last week.

"Several people will voice their different concerns... We have to wait for a little period of time, before there is a greater unanimity," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary told reporters at the AICC briefing.

She said people having different points of view on an issue is normal and in Cabinet meetings, such issues are hence discussed threadbare.

Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily's proposal to raise gas prices to USD 6.775 million British thermal unit (mmBtu) from current USD 4.2 mmBtu, which would result in a steep rise in electricity tariff, urea manufacturing cost as well as CNG rates, was listed for consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Friday.

The CCEA, however, "deferred a decision", said a senior minister attending the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The gas price hike, while triggering investment in gas hunt in the country and the resultant production hike, is being opposed in some quarters as it would lead to a rise in cost of generating electricity and urea production.

Owing to the opposition, there is speculation that the proposal may be referred to a ministerial panel for further deliberations.

CPI had sought the resignation of Moily and a high-level probe into the ministry's proposal to hike natural gas prices, alleging that such a move would subvert national interests and favour a big corporate house.

First Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 08:49 PM
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