ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Surya P Sethi

We Simply Deserve Better

Claims of a "turnaround" in the infrastructure sector are premature in a country where two-thirds of households do not have combined access to electricity, commercial cooking energy, piped water and sanitation. The gaps in infrastructure planning, examined in this article for the coal and power sectors, point to serious issues in the Indian context that need informed discussions rather than mere rhetoric.

Pricing Domestic Natural Gas

The new formula for the pricing of natural gas produced in the country is an improvement on the Rangarajan formula because it corrects many of the computational flaws of the much-criticised approach of the previous government. However, there remain faults and there are conceptual flaws as well in the new formula, which if corrected should take the well-head price of gas to no more than   $4.20 per million British thermal unit, rather than the price of $5.05 that has now been notified. There also continues to be a problem with this intervention in fixing prices since the production-sharing contracts do not provide for a direct role for the government in setting the price of natural gas at the well-head.

Analysing the Parikh Committee Report on Pricing of Petroleum Products

The Parikh Committee's recommendations on pricing of petroleum products are bad for the country and worse for the aam aadmi. The committee's recommendations do not address the problems of petroleum pricing in their entirety and appear to be driven by the desire to give private sector refiners, originally set up for export of products, an entry into the domestic market under the garb of liberalising price of petrol and diesel. The petroleum sector in India needs tax rationalisation and not tax increases. The high incidence of taxes on the petroleum sector, relative to the gross domestic product, has a negative impact on issues such as access to energy services and development.