Oil Ministry to move SC over gas distribution

The Petroleum Ministry will soon approach the Supreme Court to enforce its recent guidelines for uniform distribution of natural gas to city gas distributors after a Bombay High Court Bench put a stay on the implementation of the order in Maharashtra till January 9.

According to an official in the Petroleum Ministry, the Law Ministry’s views are being sought on the matter.

As per the government order, a distribution agency in any city will get domestically produced gas to meet 80 per cent of its requirements at a uniform base price, while the balance could be imported.

In its November notification, the Petroleum Ministry had laid down norms for uniformity in price as well as quantum of supply of natural gas across city gas distribution segments.

The enforcement of norms led to a 20 per cent cut in the supply of natural gas at administered pricing mechanism rates to Maharashtra and diversion of the same to Gujarat.

The Bombay High Court had directed the Central government to continue regular supply of natural gas to Maharashtra as the decision to cut supply is contrary to the 2002 Supreme Court order, which said preference should be given to priority sectors.

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