Modi-led government may have to handover the responsibility of fixing natural gas prices to Group of Ministers. Most probably, they may have no statutory status. Newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum (Independent Charge) Dharmendra Pradhan is busy in collecting facts and figures about gas pricing.

According to the ministry official, it would be not easy for the government to take any decision on gas prices. In order to fix gas prices, the previous UPA government had formed a GoM on whose recommendations Manmohan Singh Cabinet had taken decision on it.

Not only has the Petroleum Ministry but Finance, Law and Justice, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Environment and Forest departments have also major role to play in the gas pricing. In this scenario, a proper discussion needs to be held with all the ministries before arriving at any conclusion.

As the issue of gas pricing is at the top of priority, the government has an option of forming a Group of Ministers to take decisions within a time frame. It might not be officially called as GoM but the style of functioning will be exactly similar to that of Group of Ministers.

According to official of Petroleum Ministry, the Prime Minister has advised to stay away from GoMs and take important decisions within the Ministry. But the gas pricing is not restricted to just one ministry. Along with it, if the government decides to make any changes in UPA’s decision of rising gas prices then it will constitutionally require Cabinet nod. Before sending a new note, it requires discussion among all the concerned ministries.

The new government has also to decide whether to accept the formulas suggested by Rangarajan Committee set up during the UPA rule to fix gas prices.


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