Government decides to notify Section 16 of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act

A bonanza in the shape of expanded piped natural gas (PNG) for households and compressed natural gas (CNG) infrastructure for transportation and clean environment awaits lakhs of consumers with the government contemplating empowering the Petroleum and Natural gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) to issue retail expansion licences to both private and public players.

A large number of industrial units and power plants will also benefit by the expanded reach of natural gas likely in the next two years with a massive network of new pipelines with south India as the focus, highly placed Petroleum Ministry officials said here on Wednesday.

The first phase will entail expansion of the CNG and PNG network to 200 cities identified by the private and public sector companies, and reaching out to industrial clusters and power plants. With CNG expansion, especially in public transport, environmental concerns and vehicular pollution are also likely to be addressed in the long run.

The proposed notification of the contentious Section 16 of the PNGRB Act, 2007 will empower the board to issue permits for retail expansion of PNG and CNG as well as the natural gas pipeline infrastructure. The expansion programme of the Gas Authority of India Limited and other oil marketing companies for the PNG and CNG infrastructure will get a fillip.