Top priority to supply of gas to power projects: Govt

New Delhi: The government is giving top priority to making available 581 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas required by power projects in the country, reports PTI.

"As of today power projects in the country require 581 mmscmd of gas, but it is not available. It is a priority area for the government and we are making efforts to make it available," minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Jitin Prasada said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

Mr Prasada said, "If we get this much quantity of gas, then India will be able to generate 1,21,000 MW electricity and we will be able to even supply power to other nations."

He also said that providing gas to fertiliser plants was another priority before the government.

To a supplementary, he said the government's focus was on eastern and southern regions and wherever there was shortage of gas, the matter was being addressed.

He said power plants in Uttar Pradesh too were being provided gas as the state was also in his ministry's priority list.

The minister said allocation of natural gas from Krishna Godavari (KG) D6 field is decided by the eGoM constituted to deal with issues related to commercial usage of gas.

"Since the demand to meet the shortfall of existing assets in different sectors is more than the available gas, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has decided that KG D6 gas will be firstly allocated to existing plants," he said.


'Govt pursuing import of natural gas from Iran'

New Delhi: The government is pursuing the import of natural gas from Iran under the Iran-Pakistan-India project in national interest, reports PTI.

"This is in order to enhance the energy security of the country. India has proposed holding meetings of Indo-Iran Joint Working Group on oil and gas and Indo-Iran special joint working group on the project," minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Jitin Prasada informed the Rajya Sabha today.

He said during Question Hour that US officials have from time to time drawn the attention of the government to implications of sanctions by UN Security Council and also US domestic laws on projects like the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.

To a supplementary, Prasada said the IPI project is not on the backburner.

"We are making all efforts. The project is not sidelined.

Three nations are involved and many technical aspects are being discussed. Till we are not assured about issues like pricing of gas, delivery point of gas, project structure, payment of transportation tariff and transit fees for passage of natural gas through Pakistan, talks will continue," he said.

He said efforts are on to get this pipeline to India.

At the same time, Mr Prasada said, the government is speaking to other nations also as demand for gas has gone up.

"We are not relying on Iran alone and are talking to other nations also. We have an agreement for 25 years with Qatar," the minister added.


Exports up 13%, imports jump by 34% in July

New Delhi: India's exports rose in July, for the ninth month in a row, by 13.2% to $16.24 billion, reports PTI quoting commerce secretary Rahul Khullar.

Imports, too, rose by 34.3% to %29.17 billion, taking the trade gap for the month to $12.93 billion, he added.

Overseas shipments in April-July period of this fiscal aggregated at $68.63 billion, up 30.1% over the same period last year. Imports during the April-July period this fiscal were at $112 billion, up by 33.3% over the year-ago period.

Sectors which did not perform well in July include leather, electronic goods, man-made fibre, textiles and tea, Mr Khullar said.


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