SMEs in KG basin facing crisis due to gas shortage

The KGBGICA-an association of gas based industries operating in various isolated gas fields in the KG basin-said that for the past one month, ONGC had drastically cut down gas supply from its Lingala-Kaikalur gas field in the KG basin to nine customers of GAIL, thereby disrupting the manufacturing processes and leading to heavy losses

Hyderabad: A gas-based industrial zone at the Krishna-Godavari basin is facing a shortage of gas and many small and medium scale (SMEs) industries which depend on gas supply from ONGC are facing a crisis, reports PTI.

The SMEs claim that they are receiving only 15,000 standard cubic meters per day (scmd) of gas from ONGC, as against the agreed 1,00,000 scmd.

The KG Basin GAIL Isolated Wells Consumers Association (KGBGICA)-an association of gas based industries operating in various isolated gas fields in the KG basin-said that for the past one month, ONGC had drastically cut down gas supply from its Lingala-Kaikalur gas field in the KG basin to nine customers of GAIL, thereby disrupting the manufacturing processes and leading to heavy losses.

The association said ONGC had been supplying to one of its other customers as per the allocated quantity of 75,000 scmd. KGBGICA, which signed an agreement with ONGC for gas supply in 2003, later signed another agreement with GAIL after it became gas carrier for the region.

The KGBGICA approached the petroleum ministry recently, protesting the alleged discrimination by ONGC against the GAIL consumers.

"As many as 10,000 people get direct or indirect employment from these SMEs. But future seems bleak as there is no assurance from ONGC," one of the KGBGICA members told PTI.

Alternatives like propane are six times costlier, sources said. When contacted, an ONGC official said the shortage was due to the depletion of gas in the wells, but did not say when the supply would reach the normal levels.

"Kaikalur-Lingala assets are small and marginal fields.

Also these fields are operating for more than a decade. Since reserve is small, we observed a fast natural depletion in these fields. As regards gas supply to GAIL consumers, at present the supply is around 25,000 scmd," an email reply from ONGC said.

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General insurance industry’s premium income up 20% in Apr

The total gross premium of 23 players in the non-life insurance market rose by 20% to  Rs5,252.24 crore in the first month of the current fiscal, from Rs4,381.49 crore in April 2010

The general insurance industry, comprising four public sector entities, grew by 20% in April this year compared to the same month last year.

The total gross premium of 23 players in the non-life insurance market rose by 20% to Rs5,252.24 crore in the first month of the current fiscal, from Rs4,381.49 crore in April 2010, as per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) data.

The four PSU entities-National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance-saw their gross premium collection rising by 14.45% y-o-y to Rs2,956.55 crore in April. At the end of April, the four entities accounted for over 56% of the total general insurance industry.

Amongst the private sector players, ICICI Lombard saw its premium income rising by 20% to Rs587 crore. The premium income of HDFC Ergo grew by 43.37% to Rs230.05 crore and that of Reliance General Insurance by 52% to Rs 210.64 crore in April.

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IPO guidelines for life insurers to be out by June-end

Under the current rules, insurance companies can get listed on bourses only after they finish 10 years of operations

The insurance sector regulator has said that guidelines to allow life insurance companies to raise funds from the capital market will be out by this month-end.

"The exposure draft (on IPO guidelines) has been released. We are waiting for the comments of various stakeholders including the public. I expect the comments should be in another week's time," Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) chairman J Hari Narayan told reporters here.

The final guidelines will certainly be out before the end of June, he said. In October 2010, SEBI had given the go-ahead to insurance companies for coming out with IPOs.

Under the current rules, insurance companies can get listed on the bourses after they finish 10 years of operations.

IRDA is likely to allow public float by only those companies, which are in the business for at least 10 years and have a track record of three successive years of profit.

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