The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry is awaiting a nod from the Election Commission to go ahead with notifying a new gas price regime that will almost double the cost of natural gas to $8 to 8.5 per mmBtu from the present $4.2 per mmBtu .

Petroleum Secretary Saurabh Chandra met Chief Election Commissioner V. S. Sampath last week and submitted the necessary documents on the issue. He also sought formal approval from the EC for hiking gas prices from April 1 The Cabinet had, last December, given its nod for shifting to the new gas pricing regime under the Rangarajan Committee formula . The new pricing formula would be applicable for a period of five years from April 1, 2014.

As there are hardly ten days left for the new price regime to be notified , Mr. Chandra made a presentation to Mr. Sampath to seek an early decision on the matter. The Election Commission had conveyed that it would study the proposal and then respond appropriately.

The new rates will change every quarter based on 12-month average of global rates and LNG import price with a lag of one quarter.

The price for April to June 2014 will be calculated based on the averages for the 12 months ended 31 December 2013 and it is expected that the rate in April will be around $8 per mBtu.

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