CNG pricing row: HC to hear IGL's plea against PNGRB on May 8

Last Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 18:11

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday decided to hear on May 8 the Indraprastha Gas Ltd's plea against the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board's decision to slash the network tariff and CNG compression charge on sale of piped and compressed natural gases (PNG & CNG) here.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, which was to hear and pronounce its order on the state-owned IGL's plea today, did not hold the court after 2.30 pm and the hearing had to be deferred to May 8.

IGL, the sole supplier of PNG and CNG in Delhi and its suburbs, had earlier moved the court against the April 9 order of regulator PNGRB, which has slashed the network tariff and CNG compression charges from retrospective effect and has also asked IGL to refund the excess amount charged from consumers since 2008.

The court earlier had refused to stay PNGRB's order and fixed the matter for final hearing and the pronouncement of order today.

Gas distributor IGL, in its petition, has challenged the constitutional validity of PNGRB's decision saying that the regulator has no right to decide the rate of network tariff and CNG compression charge.

It also said the decision to slash the rate with retrospective effect would lead to a financial burden of Rs 1,500 crore, which is more than the IGL's net worth.

PNGRB, in its order on April 9, had not only fixed the charges with retrospective effect from April 1, 2008 but had also ordered IGL to refund extra money, charged by it, to customers.

PNGRB has fixed IGL's pipeline network transportation tariff at Rs 38.58 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu) as against Rs 104.05 per mmBtu proposed by IGL.

Oil regulator PNGRB has also cut the compression prices for CNG to Rs.2.75 a kg from Rs.6.66 a kg submitted by IGL. The new charges would be applicable from April 1, 2008.

The court earlier had been assured by the oil regulator that it would not take any coercive steps if the revised prices are not implemented during the pendency of the case.

IGL had last hiked the prices of CNG gas in Delhi by Rs 1.70 a kg and by Rs 1.90 per kg in Noida, citing rise in input cost as the factor, in March this year.

The current consumer price of CNG is Rs 35.45 a kg in Delhi and Rs 39.80 a kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad.


First Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 18:11

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