"Absolutely, there is no question of reversing the decision to hike natural gas prices, as proposed by the Rangarajan panel report, or going back on the decision," Moily told reporters.
     
"The notification regarding the implementation of the new price formula will be issued shortly," he said, a day after meeting investors, bankers and analysts ahead of the forthcoming NELP round X auctions from mid-January.
     
The comments come amid the Supreme Court hearing a PIL filed by CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta contending that the government decided to hike the gas prices without taking into account its disastrous consequences on the economy, particularly power and fertiliser sectors.
     
Moily said the rising demand for subsidies from end-user industries won't come in the way of price hike.
     
"We are firm that there will be only uniform pricing for gas to all industries and other end-used sector like city gas distribution companies for household use. It is up to the ministries and industries concerned to arrive at a subsidy formula and we have no role to play in that," Moily said when asked whether he was confident of securing the needed consensus by April when new pricing formula will be effective.
     
He further said that the new price will apply uniformly to all companies -- public sector and private sector, and all forms of gas -- conventional natural gas, coal-bed methane and shale gas.
     
On June 27, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had decided to implement a new pricing formula suggested by a panel headed by Prime Minister's economic adviser C Rangarajan. Under this, prices will nearly double to USD 8 from USD 4.2 per million British thermal unit.
     
However, a day after the decision, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had hinted at allowing subsidies to power and fertiliser units to keep electricity and urea costs down.
     
The government claims that the proposed hike will lead to a USD 500 million additional revenue for the government per annum by way of royalty, taxes and profit on higher rate.

(Agencies)

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