NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday gave freedom to public sector oil firms to have their own independent crude import policy based on their commercial requirements.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, said after the Cabinet meeting, “The crude import policy needs to be modified to bring it in tune with current needs. The current market practices for purchase of crude oil on spot basis also need to be adopted to compete effectively in the market. The current policy has certain limitations and restrictions in this regard which has now been done away with.”
State-owned firms like Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) have traditionally been allowed to source crude only from national companies of oil-producing nations.
So far, refiners were allowed to buy crude oil from 10 MNCs — Exxon (which has merged with Mobil), Shell, BP, Elf (merged with Total Fina), texaco (merged with Chevron), South Korea’s SK, Chevron, USX of USA, Spain’s Repsol and Nippon Mitsubishi of Japan.
In 2014, it was proposed to include suppliers from South Korea, Spain and Japan as well as Eni, Valero Energy, Russia’s Lukoil, Conoco Phillips, Occidental and Marathon on the list. But now, they can buy as per their own plan without any restrictions.
States will be given a maximum of 0.5% over and above 3% cap in any given year provided they ensure a favourable debt-GSDP ratio and interest payments-revenue receipts ratio in previous 2 years
four-laning of K’taka Project
The Cabinet approved the development of four laning of the Hospet-Bellary-Karnataka/Andhra Pradesh Border section of National Highway – 63 in Karnataka. This work will be under the NH Development Project Phase-IV. The approval is on EPC basis.The cost is estimated to be Rs 1,621.96 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehab and other pre-con struction activities.
R-Com Thrives on spectrum Easing
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared liberalisation of spectrum — allocated without auction to telecom companies — at sectoral -regulator Trai recommended price with the balance being collected after deriving market rate through bidding. This will enable Reliance Communications to liberalise its spectrum in four telecom circles, where auction determined price is not available, for Rs 1,300 crore.
Trade with Iran Gets Rs 3k cr boost
The Union Cabinet also more than tripled the funding for exports to Iran to Rs 3,000 crore through the Export Development Fund (EDF) of the Exim Bank with a view to improving bilateral trade and strategic ties with oil rich country. The proposal will step up the country’s exports to Tehran and deepen New Delhi’s relationship as a strategic partner, said an official statement.