Economy
India unveils new licensing, pricing norms for hydrocarbons
New Delhi : Taking up some long-pending issues in the oil and gas space, India on Thursday approved a new policy for their exploration, while also defining the norms for pricing of existing and new discoveries made in difficult areas.
 
Briefing reporters on the decisions taken at a meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the petroleum minister said the new oil and gas exploration policy will now be based on a revenue-sharing model, as opposed to cost-and-output-based norms earlier.
 
The difficult areas for which the new pricing norms have now been formulated are defined as those from deep-water, ultra deep-water and high pressure-high temperature areas. Such areas were not considered when prices were fixed for normal gas discoveries in 2014.
 
The bulk of such fields are with Reliance Industries and state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp.
 
The oil minister said production sharing contracts on some of the discovered fields could not be signed during last two decades due to a number of reasons, including arbitration proceedings, court cases, observations by the official auditor on "gold plating" of costs and alleged scandals.
 
"Resources worth more than Rs.261,000 crore will be brought into production as the result of today's cabinet decisions," Pradhan said. "The decisions will also go a long way in generating employment, enhance transparency and reduce administrative discretion."
 
He said the new exploration licensing policy will allow production of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, including shale gas, under a single license. "It also provides for marketing freedom for crude oil and natural gas produced from the blocks."
 
Among the other decisions of the cabinet pertaining to the oil and gas sector, a Rs.8,000-crore outlay was provided to extend subsidised cooking gas to 50 million poor families in the name of the woman member, and the extension of contracts for 28 older hydrocarbon blocks.
 
This apart, the cabinet cancelled the award of the Ratna and R-Series field in 1996 to a consortium of Essar Oil and Oil Pacific UK.
 
In his budget speech last month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the government will extend incentives for the discovery and exploration of gas by providing companies the freedom to market the output.
 
"India is blessed with rich natural resources including oil and gas. However, their discovery and exploitation has been below our potential. Imports of hydrocarbons occupy a large share of India's total imports," Jaitley said.
 
"As part of our drive towards self-sufficiency, the government is considering to incentivise gas production from deep-water, ultra deep-water and high pressure-high temperature areas, which are presently not exploited on account of higher cost and higher risks," he said.
 
He said companies will be provided calibrated marketing freedom, and also a pre-determined ceiling price discovered from global benchmarks.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article

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Blackbuck killings: Salman pleads not guilty
Jodhpur (Rajasthan) : Bollywood actor Salman Khan on Thursday insisted that he had been wrongly accused of having illegal weapons and killing two blackbucks here in 1998.
 
"Main nirdosh hoon. Mujhe jhootha fasaya gaya hai. (I am not guilty. I have been falsely implicated)," the actor told Chief Judicial Magistrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit. 
 
Asked about the allegations by the prosecution, Salman pleaded that he was "not guilty".
 
Salman has been accused of using illegal arms to kill the protected animals and carrying weapons with expired licence. He has been charged with violating the Arms Act.
 
Thursday was the third time Salman came to the Jodhpur court in connection with the case.
 
Khan's counsel Hastimal Sarswat told IANS: "The court has fixed April 4 as the next date of hearing." He said witnesses will be produced in Salman's defence.
 
During the hearing, Salman replied questions regarding his name, father's name, his age and residential address.
 
Asked about his caste, the actor was silent for a while before replying that he was an Indian.
 
Salman's sister Alvira was present in the court, where the actor spent less than half an hour.
 
Salman and a few Bollywood actors have been accused of poaching the blackbucks on the night of October 1-2, 1998 when he was here to shoot the Hindi movie "Hum Saath Saath Hain".
 
Two blackbucks, a protected animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, were killed on the outskirts of Kankani village near Jodhpur. The killings triggered outrage.
 
The court asked several questions regarding the allegations made by the prosecution's witnesses. Salman denied all the charges.
 
Khan said he was neither with Shivcharan Bohra, the then forest officer, nor did he sign any document. 
 
Asked about the statement of Uday Raghavan, who allegedly brought weapons for Salman from the actor's Mumbai residence, Khan said although the letter authorizing Raghavan to collect the weapons bears his signature, he was forced to sign it.
 
Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajpurohit had on March 3 asked Salman to appear before the court to record his statement on Thursday.
 
The magistrate had dismissed an application from Salman's counsel to re-examine then collector Rajat Mishra.
 
The court was to pronounce its judgment on February 25 last year but this was deferred when a few applications for examination of four witnesses were allowed.
 
After examination of four witnesses, Salman appeared before the court on April 29 last year.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article

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COMMENTS

Vaibhav Dhoka

1 year ago

This is how justice is delayed due to stretching in this case about two decades will free the accused wherein all evidence can be vanished and so witnesses may forget details so that accuse gets benefit of doubt and prosecution fails in high profile cases.

Ishrat documents missing: Rajnath
New Delhi : Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that key documents related to the Ishrat Jahan case have gone missing from his ministry.
 
"Two letters from the then home secretary to the attorney general in 2009 have gone missing. The then attorney general had vetted two affidavits regarding the case. Those are also not available," Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha while replying to a brief debate over the alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba woman terrorist who was killed in a police firing on June 15, 2004.
 
Without naming Congress's P. Chidambaram, Rajnath Singh alleged that affidavits were corrected on the intervention of the then home minister.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article

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