Cabinet Gives Boost To Ease Of Doing Business In Petroleum & Natural Gas Sector
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for delegating the powers to Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Minister to award the Blocks/Contract Areas to successful bidders under Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) after International Competitive Bidding (ICB) based on the recommendations of Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS). Under HELP, Blocks are to be awarded twice in a year. Therefore, this delegation of powers will expedite the decision-making process on awarding blocks and give a boost to the initiative of ease of doing business.
Under the NELP Policy, ECS considers the Bid Evaluation Criteria (BEC), conducts negotiations with the bidders wherever necessary and make recommendations to CCEA on an award of blocks. The CCEA approves the award of blocks. The entire process, including Inter-Ministerial Consultations (IMC) is quite lengthy and time-consuming. In consonance with the Government initiative of 'Ease of Doing Business', it is desirable to shorten the duration of time taken forward of the Blocks / Contract Areas. Under the New Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy,' the competitive bidding will be continuous and blocks will be awarded twice a year.