NEW DELHI:The move by Ministry of Petroleum and gas to issue guidelines for granting marketing rights for CNG as transportation fuel and to set up CNG stations is being perceived by some experts as the ministry’s attempt to ensure its control over this segment instead of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).
Issued on March 5, ‘Draft Guidelines for granting Marketing Rights for CNG as transportation fuel, including setting up CNG stations’ gives details eligibility for rights to sell fuel to automobiles.
According to the guidelines for setting up CNG stations any entity that has invested Rs 500 crore in oil and gas infrastructure can get rights or licence to retail the fuel to automobiles by setting up CNG stations.
While the Union Government had authorised entities like Indraprastha Gas Ltd and Mahanagar Gas Ltd for retailing CNG to automobiles in Delhi and Mumbai respectively in early 2000, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board has been doing so through bid rounds since its establishment in 2006.
The new norms says that just like the companies which invested a minimum of Rs 2,000 crore in oil and gas infrastructure were granted marketing rights for petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel through the March 2002 notification, entities investing a minimum of Rs 500 crore will be eligible for marketing rights for CNG.
Yet, any company authorised by PNGRB or the government will also be eligible.
Since the setting up of PNGRB in 2006, applications used to come to the board and not the government for seeking rights to retail CNG alongside selling natural gas as fuel within city limits.
While PNGRB issued licence to retail CNG as well as piped cooking gas (PNG), the ministry guidelines pertain only to rights to sell CNG.
The entities which have already been granted marketing rights for petrol, diesel and
ATF as transportation fuel, under Resolution dated March 8, 2002 will be deemed to have such grants of marketing rights for CNG as transportation fuel,” it said.
In 2002, ONGC, Reliance Industries, Essar Oil, Royal Dutch Shell and Numaligarh Refineries had won rights to set up petrol pumps to sell petrol and diesel.
In addition to these firms fuel retailers IOC, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum as well as gas utility GAIL India Ltd will be eligible for CNG marketing rights.