Dr. Anil Kumar Jain, Chairperson, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) said Taxation rate on natural gas is higher in Meghalaya than most of the state as he urged the State Government to bring reform with regards to taxation on Natural Gas.
Addressing the media after hosting the first roadshow for the 12th city gas distribution (CGD) bidding round here in Meghalaya, the Chairperson of PNGRB said, “The VAT on Natural gas in Meghalaya is 14 percent which is a very high rate as compare to Delhi where the VAT on Natural gas is zero percent which makes the business attractive.”
He, further requested the state Government to reduce VAT on natural gas to 5 percent.
“We would like Meghalaya to reduce the VAT rate from current 14 percent to 5 percent. It is a small state, the business size for the gas people it is not going to paid, so you need to attract them, the investment that they are going to make will not be remunerated if the taxation takes away the surplus,” Dr. Jain said.
Dr. Anil Kumar Jain also spoke about developing a CGD Policy in the State of Meghalaya on the basis of draft policy provided by MoPNG, while highlighting importance of City Gas Distribution (CGD) issues and sought for assistance of State government in promoting natural gas. The other problems that the board faces is that of the terrain and the land tenure system.
“It’s a hilly terrain and lot of investment required in bringing the gas here and that investment will putoff the investors if there is no positive viability. Another issue is, all the land in Meghalaya is own by private people, usually in other state large section of land is own by the Government or by Panchayat, you tackle one agency and you get to lay the pipe for long distance but here you have to tackle every individual,” the Chairperson of PNGRB said.
The 12th CGD bidding round aims to achieve 100 per cent coverage of the country by expanding the reach of natural gas by offering eight geographical areas (GAs) covering six North East States and Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.
On completion of the 12th CGD bidding round, almost the entire country except Islands, will be covered under the CGD network. PNGRB will provide access to cleaner cooking fuel for households, support industrial and commercial facilities, and fuel transportation, marking a giant leap towards achieving a gas-based economy.
PNGRB Chairperson, Dr. Anil Kumar Jain said the initiation of this bidding round specifically tailored for the North Eastern states and Union Territories reflects a strategic move to provide cleaner fuel within the delicate ecosystems of these regions.
Jain highlighted the fact that the North East Region as a whole has ample gas resources and arrival of cross-country pipelines as well as CGD networks is a singular event in the Energy story of North East India.
“With the completion of Barauni Guwahati trunk pipeline, and Guwahati-Dimapur pipeline by GAIL and IGGL, the NE part of the country will be integrated with the national gas grid,” the PNGRB Chairperson said.
The event was inaugurated by Sniawbhalang Dhar, Deputy Chief Minister Meghalaya,in the presence of Additional Chief Secretary, Meghalaya Shakil P Ahammed, Board members and Secretary of PNGRB. Representatives from Local Government(s) and key stakeholders from the oil and gas sector of the country particpated in the event in large numbers.
Sniawbhalang Dhar, Deputy Chief Minister Meghalaya appreciated the impressive strides made by PNGRB, through the CGD initiatives undertaken in the last 11 rounds. He noted that this will help in developing India into a gas based economy. He also highlighted the virtues of Natural Gas and the positive impact it will have i.e. increase in job opportunities, providing access to clean energy along with supporting and developing local businesses.
Dhar also recognized the tremendous potential in collaborating with PNGRB for development of Natural Gas infrastructure in the state and setting up of incubation centres for the entrepreneurial and skill development of youth of Meghalaya. Shri Dhar also provided assurance of policy and administrative support to the stakeholders.
Distinguished speakers at the event included Shakil P. Ahammed, Additional Chief Secretary Meghalaya, Shri Suresh P Manglani, CEO Adani Total Gas Limited, Sanjay Kumar, Director (Marketing), GAIL (India) Limited and Ajit Kumar Thakur, CEO, Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited. Vandana Sharma, Secretary, PNGRB, delivered a detailed presentation on the present status and opportunities in the CGD sector, showcasing the success story of 9thto 11thCGD bidding rounds and outlining important timelines for the 12thCGD Bidding Round.
Electronic bids have been invited from October 13, 2023with the last date for submission of bids set for January 11, 2024, for 7 GAs under 12th CGD Bidding Round and February23, 2024 for Mizoram GA. PNGRB aims to finalize the award by February/March 2024.