In a major relief to companies like Reliance Industries, the government is likely to restore a 7-year income tax holiday on oil and gas production as it was a sovereign commitment to companies investing in the nascent sector. But uncertainity continues over the same tax break being extended to refineries commissioning after April 1, 2009. Sources in the finance ministry said the Budget proposals for 2008-09 had actually intended only to introduce a sunset clause for 7-year income tax holiday for refineries commissioned after April 1, 2009.

It is high time Parliament took serious note of the sordid story of the unwarranted hike in the prices of petroleum products.

Says important issues are under discussion Pakistan to levy transit fee for safety and security of the pipeline Will be built as per global standards and incorporate all safety measures NEW DELHI: India is pursuing the issue of import of natural gas from Iran through the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, and important issues concerning the implementation of the project were under discussion among the participating countries, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora told the Lok Sabha on Thursday. As per current indications, the pipeline within Iran up to the border with Pakistan would be laid and operated by an agency to be nominated by Iran that would bear all responsibility for safety and security of the pipeline within its territory, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister said in a written reply to a question. Safety and security of the pipeline and gas within Pakistan would be provided by the Pakistan government for which a transit fee would be levied. Discussions on the security package by the Pakistan Government and the transit fee were continuing. The Minister said the pipeline would be constructed as per international standards, incorporating all safety features. It was envisaged to provide round-the-clock communication and a supervisory control system all along the pipeline. The Minister, however, said no official communication was received on China joining the gas pipeline project. Protracted talks Mr. Deora emphasised that such multilateral projects involved protracted discussions, as all aspects had to be carefully examined and deliberated upon to the satisfaction of the participating countries to protect each country's interests and avoid any problems in the future.

THE Cabinet may review prices of petroleum products on Thursday that may result in a marginal increase of petrol and diesel prices. The petroleum ministry is in favour of raising petrol price by Rs 2 a litre and diesel by Re 1 a litre. Oil prices have been volatile through the year and has been hovering around $91 a barrel this week. This has put major pressure on public sector oil companies whose under-recoveries is estimated at Rs 71,800 crore in 2007-08.

The Chairman, Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Gas (2007-08) having been authorised by the Committee to submit the Report on their behalf, present this Seventeenth Report on

public anger over lack of regulations to improve fuel efficiency of vehicles has finally set off official action. The Petroleum Conservation and Research Association, an autonomous research body

Diesel cars are expected to corner 50 per cent of the Indian car market by 2010. 2010 is also the Indian government's target year for putting into place European emission standards. The target

PANIPAT: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy on Tuesday dedicated to the nation India's largest naphtha cracker plant at Indian Oil Corporation's (IOCs) Panipat Complex.

The complex has been commissioned in 46 months, which compares with the global standard for similar capacity plants and is ahead of average time taken in setting up similar units in India.

THE government has indefinitely deferred a hike in diesel rates despite soaring crude oil prices to prevent a further increase in prices, particularly of food items, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said.

Oil marketing companies are demanding higher prices because crude oil has been trading at about $90 a barrel for a month, even as state-set diesel rates have not been changed since June.

Indu Bhan

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought reply from Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the petroleum ministry and others on a PNGRB plea seeking permission to issue licences for retailing CNG and piped gas in view of the government notifying regulations that give powers to it.

PNGRB informed the court through senior counsel Harish Salve that the government has notified Section 16 of the P