The Union Cabinet will consider the impact of the proposed increase in natural gas prices on power tariff and fertilizer subsidy before deciding on increasing the rates, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Thursday.

Commenting on CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta’s allegations that a “gigantic scam” was in the making in the Oil Ministry’s proposal to increase gas prices, he said the Cabinet would consider all views carefully before taking a decision. The Oil Ministry has moved a Cabinet note proposing an increase in the prices of natural gas produced by the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp and Oil India Ltd, as well as private firms like RIL to $6.7 per million British thermal unit from the current $4.2 per mBtu.

The increase proposed accords with the formula suggested by a committee appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh under his economic adviser C. Rangarajan.

Mr. Chidambaram said that though he had not seen the Cabinet note, the Rangarajan committee’s report was “more or less in the public domain.” — PTI