Natural Gas in India: Liberalisation and Policy

Natural Gas in India
Natural Gas in India: Liberalisation and Policy
Jain, AK
Oxford University Press

India is in transition. It is simultaneously passing through a number of economic transformations, some of them historically momentous. The driving forces for some of the changes are peculiar to the nation, or even to particular sectors. But others are shared with other parts of the world and are influenced by international pressures and examples. This book analyses an ongoing economic transformation in the natural gas sector, which exemplifies the main question underlying policy debates: how to make the transition to a more efficient economy, whilst meeting distributional objectives that are imperative to bringing India's population out of poverty. This is a classic dilemma encountered in any economy in transition, and the experience in India's natural gas sector offers an insight into potential solutions.

The transition in the gas sector is part of the larger movement of the economy from a centrally planned and administered system to one based on market principles. During transition, the situation cannot be understood simply in terms of the conventional paradigm of demand and supply being balanced by price. Demand and supply are influenced by different factors, but have been kept broadly in balance by a complex system of administered pricing and quantitative allocation. The resulting distortions have been spread across the main gas consuming sectors. As distortions mount, parts of the system are modified, usually in the broad direction of liberalisation and reform. But partial reform often has the effect of displacing the problems, presenting further challenges, and requiring further changes. In order to allow for a liberalised policy framework without sacrificing social objectives, policy makers have had to evolve newer forms of policy implementation, including, perhaps, more targeted forms of subsidisation.

This book is the first to meticulously explore these challenges and analyse the existing policy framework in the gas sector, including the system of awarding acreages, the systems of gas allocation and pricing, and the likely demand and supply scenarios for domestic and imported gas. It draws together different pieces of a larger gas sector story, viewed against the backdrop of India's broader transitions and its increasingly important role within the world economy.

  • Comprehensive discussion of the current status of India's gas sector, including medium to long term outlook for demand and supply, with extensive cross-referencing
  • Organised in two clear parts; first part contains the factual basis for a policy discussion; second part contains the author's analysis and insight
  • Provides up-to-date information and statistics on gas demand, supply, and pricing
  • Includes references and links to original statements on policy decisions and announcements made by the Government of India through the Press Information Bureau of India
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