New Delhi Says commerce ministry’s suggestion for change in norms will only facilitate ‘land grabbing by pvt sector’

Finance ministry has strongly opposed the proposal to further liberalise the norms for Special Economic Zones (SEZs), saying the commerce ministry’s suggestion will only facilitate “land grabbing by the private sector”. The commerce ministry recently sought relaxation in the minimum area requirement and the land contiguity norms for SEZs in a bid to prop up export growth from these zones. Growth in exports from SEZs is still in double digits, but lower than overall export growth, raising questions over the need for these enclaves that enjoy sundry tax sops

New Delhi Liquified natural gas (LNG) handling terminals in the country, including the proposed ones, will have to offer a little less than a third of their total capacity for third-party use at fair and competitive terms, according to the norms being worked out by the oil ministry.

The idea is to remove entry barriers in the business of supplying imported natural gas to industries. Open access is considered vital for fostering competition in the LNG sector as it optimises land use by various players for regasifying the frozen gas and its further transportation to customers.

New Delhi A regulatory panel has allowed Reliance Industries to carry out surveys on 12 satellite fields in the deep water D6 block in the east coast, subject to the condition that this expense would become eligible for recovery only if a subsequent field development plan is approved by the authorities.

The management committee overseeing the performance of the D6 block in the Krishna Godavari basin decided last Friday that RIL could make investments in geophysical and geo-technical surveys and other studies in the R series fields (D34) at its own cost. The RIL-BP-NIKO consortium has to bear the risk involved in making this investment.

The Union Cabinet will soon take a call on the vexed issue of whether to go for international arbitration at a London tribunal against Oman, which raised natural gas price from 77 cents to $3 per unit, leading to a sharp rise in the price of fertiliser imported by India under a long-term off-take agreement.

The finance ministry has rejected a request for increasing the price of urea imported from Omifco, an equal joint venture of Indian and Oman firms, in line with the higher gas price implemented by the Arab nation at the beginning of this year.

New Delhi In what could give a reprieve to consumers who have been fearing another hike in petrol price, the government has decided to put the proposal in abeyance.

New Delhi Declines to give a grace period for completing Paradip refinery project

The finance ministry has declined to give a grace period to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for completing its Paradip refinery in Orissa that has missed the March 31 deadline for benefiting from the seven-year income tax holiday.

New Delhi Public gaze on natural resources allocation in the wake of assorted scandals and adverse CAG reports has made policymakers wary, leading to a stalemate in allocations and project delays. This was apparent when the petroleum ministry on Wednesday awarded less than half of the 34 oil and gas blocks to winners of an auction held about two years ago, thanks to delays in securing approvals from other arms of the government.

New Delhi For the first time, New Delhi is looking to the North American continent to secure its energy needs. India has started talks to import natural gas from Canada, the world’s third-largest producer which is facing falling demand from the US, where a shale gas bounty has brought self sufficiency in clean energy. Besides Canada, India has also set its eyes on shale gas from the US.

New Delhi The proposed diesel price decontrol may come sooner than expected with a special scheme to insulate farmers from its adverse impact through a cash subsidy. Initially, state governments will be responsible for delivery of the subsidy, the cost of which will be borne by the Centre. When the Aadhaar technology platform becomes operational, it will be used for transferring the subsidy.

New Delhi Cairn India has agreed to double the compensation to the farmers and landowners resisting construction of its pipeline project in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The proposed pipeline will connect its Rajasthan oilfield to the crude oil shipping facility at Bhogat in coastal Gujarat.

The company now produces one fifth of India's crude oil output. It has agreed for higher right of user payment — more than double the rate applicable in the Jamnagar district — after discussions with the local authorities and policymakers, said a source privy to the development.