Govt looking at bringing natural gas under GST, pricing freedom: Petroleum Secy
He said the the government is keen to invite more investments into the sector and is looking at pricing freedom for natural gas.
New Delhi: the government is considering bringing natural gas under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime to begin with as it would be difficult to bring the entire oil and gas sector immediately under it, petroleum secretary Tarun Kapoor said today.“We want that whoever is in the sector has ease of operations. The first product which we are targeting is gas so if that happens that would be a good beginning and that is the direction in which we have to go,” Kapoor said addressing a webinar on ‘Future of Global Oil & Gas Prices & Policies for India’ organised by FICCI.He also said the the government is keen to invite more investments into the sector and is looking at pricing freedom.Highlighting the benefits of the decline in the international crude prices, Kapoor said: “This situation is good for the country because we have huge oil imports and we could make good use of the low prices. We could buy crude to fill our strategic reserves as well. Indian markets are also coming gradually to its previous level so the demand will also increase.”He said that government is also looking at options to increase the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix. “We are very keen on increasing the gas share in the total energy mix in the country. Currently it is only 6.3 percent of the total primary energy of the country whereas globally it is 24 percent. We also want to move to biofuel,” he said.On the steps taken by the government to promote Make in India, the secretary said all large purchases made by PSUs will be done through the domestic route so that the domestic industry also gets benefitted. “We will come out with the list of products where domestic manufacturing is possible,” he added.Oil ministry‘s joint secretary Amar Nath, who was also speaking on the webinar, said the country needs to focus on areas where it can locally manufacture products and services. “We are looking at 3 buckets of reforms — optimizing cost structure of companies; making the sector more attractive; and simplifying procedures via self-certification. A draft digitalization policy for Indian E&P sector is to be released soon,” he said.E S Ranganathan, Managing Diector of Indraprastha Gas Limited said the demand in the City Gas Distribution (CGD) sector is expected to be restores up to 70 per cent in the next 3 months and it may take six months for the demand to reach pre-COVID levels.