Ahead of the Cabinet decision on gas pricing, petroleum minister Veerappa Moily spoke to Lola Nayar. Excerpts:
On import lobbies influencing decisions: It is a question of understanding which forces are prevailing. Everywhere, there is obstruction. We have to take bold decisions. If we don’t take exploration forward, our import dependence would go up. We are importing gas at $14-15 per million British thermal unit. Domestic gas is available at $4.2. Someone is making good profit.
On the impact of the higher gas price: Currently, power and fertiliser sectors are not getting adequate gas. In fact, more than 26-30 per cent of the gas-based power plants are closed as gas is not available. Fertiliser companies are also importing gas at triple the cost.
On allegations of corporate lobbies: From 1999, we have been thinking about giving market prices as promised under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) but we have not...