Next round of bids for city gas retail licence next week
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to launch the 10th City Gas Distribution bidding round next week.Under this round, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) will offer 50 geographical areas spread over 124 districts in 14 States.An official statement said that 24 per cent of India’s population and 18 per cent of its area will be covered in this round.“The e-bidding process was initiated on November 8, 2018. Pre-bid conference is scheduled on December 6, 2018. Bids can be submitted by February 5, 2019. Technical bids would be opened during February 7 to February 9, 2019. The Letter of Intents are planned to be issued by end-February 2019,” the statement said.After this round, 70 per cent of India’s population, and 52 per cent of the country’s area will have been bid out for setting up city gas distribution infrastructure. According to the list of probable geographical areas on offer, six are in Karnataka, three in Andhra Pradesh, 12 in Uttar Pradesh, four in West Bengal and seven in Bihar, among others.“The Centre has prioritised natural gas supplies to meet the demand that accrues from new domestic Compressed Natural Gas and Piped Natural Gas consumers in the country,” Chairman, PNGRB, DK Sarraf, said.”Gas supplies to domestic consumers will be priced based on the domestic natural gas pricing formula. Supplies to commercial consumers will be market priced based on import parity,” he said.This commitment is expected to be continued after the gas trading hub is operational too,” he added.Prime Minister Modi will also lay the foundation stones of CGD projects in 65 geographical areas spread over 129 districts that were awarded during the ninth CGD bid round.In total, 86 geographical areas were awarded during the ninth round. Of these, two awards were disputed and sub-judice. Some fall in regions where elections are due and are under the model code of conduct. This is why the PM will be laying the foundation stones in just 65 geographical areas from New Delhi.