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No stay on regulator's order to cut gas prices in Delhi

Delhi,Business/Economy,Immigration/Law/Rights, Wed, 11 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to stay a regulator's order to the Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) to reduce the price of CNG and piped gas in the national capital and refund the excess amount charged from consumers since 2008.


A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R.S. Endlaw was hearing he plea filed by IGL, the sole supplier of CNG and PNG in Delhi and its suburbs, against an order by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board.


IGL contended that the regulatory board did not give it a hearing and calculated the tariff at 2008 price levels for various inputs and charges.


The court asked IGL and the regulatory board to file their synopsis and listed the matter for final arguments April 19.


IGL opposed the regulatory board order to slash the network tariff and the CNG compression charge billed on sale of CNG and PNG.


The regulatory board, in its order of April 9, not only fixed the charges retrospectively applicable from April 1, 2008 but also ordered IGL to refund the excess amount charged from consumers since then.


Responding to IGL's contention that it was not consulted before the tariff order was passed, Additional Solicitor General A.S. Chandiok, appearing for the regulatory board, said it had sought clarifications over data on capital and operating expenditure submitted by IGL in May 2009.


The regulator told the company to reduce its network tariff by 63 percent to Rs.38.58 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) as against Rs.104.05 per (mmBtu) sought by the company.


It also cut compression charge for CNG by 59 percent to Rs.2.75 per kg from Rs.6.66 per kg proposed by the company.


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


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


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