Murli Deora to visit Islamabad to discuss pipeline projects
The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is hopeful of resolving issues relating to taxation of petroleum products with the Finance Ministry in a manner that would not affect the investor sentiment for the bidding process of NELP VII, Mr. Murli Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said here today.
Speaking to media persons after inaugurating the 5th Asia Gas Partnership Summit, organized jointly by GAIL and FICCI, Mr. Deora said: “We do not consider the tax issues to be a deal-breaker in so for as NELP VII is concerned. The last date for receipt of investor bids is April 25, 2008, and we are hopeful that the issues would be resolved before that.”
Asked about responses for the upcoming exploration round and whether the tax issues would affect the sentiment, Mr. M. S Srinivasan, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas said, past experience shows that 85-90% of the responses come in during the last two days of the deadline for the receipt of exploration bids. A clear picture would emerge only then, he said, adding that the issues regarding taxation would be amicably resolved.
Deora said, he would be traveling to Islamabad next week for vital discussions on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. The meeting would be held on April 23 and 24, which will be followed up with bilateral talks with the Pakistani authorities. “There are some issues such as the charges to be levied by Pakistan for transit fees, but I am optimistic that we would be able to resolve them,” he said. A technical team from India would be leaving for Islamabad on Tuesday to lay the groundwork for the discussions on the pipeline, the Minister said.
Regarding the issuance of oil bonds, Mr. Deora said, the Cabinet Committee has decided that the Finance Ministry will determine the quantum of bonds to be issued in consultation with the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
In his inaugural address, the Minister pointed out that Asian countries have natural areas of commonalities and synergy in social, economic and technological spheres. A multifaceted economic partnership will underpin more securely our traditionally close relationships. India on its part is ready to play sheet anchor role in this endeavour, he said.
Deora said, the governments of the region must and will play their role of providing a transparent, attractive and stable policy and regulatory regime. At the same time, the role of the business community to build a stable and strong economic partnership is equally important. The Indian industry has the full support of Government of India. The government and state-owned enterprises, which have increasingly occupied a centre-stage in the changed scenario on the world oil and gas domain, must play a proactive role.
Indian firms, he said, were attaining global levels in quality and output. Indian public and private firms have a lot of expertise and skill in various aspects of the gas value chain, which could be utilized to good use through mutual partnerships.
Dinsha Patel, Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, underlined the need for utilizing natural resources like natural gas for the uplift of the poor. He emphasized the importance of energy security, for sustained and inclusive economic growth.