Petroleum and petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Monday that the natural gas supplied through city gas distribution networks to households will cost one-third less than the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) currently consumed by most households.
RIL has plans to apply for 100 licences in city gas distribution as soon as the government policy is announced on the matter. Though the company will largely by targeting ‘B’ category cities, Reliance will be opting for joint ventures with public sector enterprises in ‘A’ group cities, company sources said.
Ambani said the industry could provide piped natural gas to 20 million households by 2010-11. “We can leapfrog energy solutions so that benefits go directly to households. Energy technology provides enough opportunities for entrepreneurs and benefits to consumers,” he said.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Indian Economic Summit, RIL chairman said the company had a major success in drilling wells in the Krishna-Godavari basin. “Of the 33 wells dug , 25 have been successful,” he said. He, however, did not detail the prospects of oil and gas from the wells.
On the company’s plans to enter the retail business and the Bharti group joining hands with Wal-Mart, Ambani said there was space for six-eight major players in India.
"Indian retail market is entering an exciting phase. Sunil Mittal is a dear friend. We will together transform the Indian retail business by providing true value to customers and the sellers," he said.
Earlier, speaking at the summit, the RIL chairman stressed the need for widening the tax base so that the energy sector's contribution to revenues could be reduced from the current 25 to 27 per cent. Lower taxation will benefit all, he remarked.
Ambani said that India had the potential to achieve double-digit growth and pointed out that that the current phase of growth was being achieved without the environmental degradation which had hit some other countries.
"Indian refineries are producing Euro-V and Euro-VI fuels, which are being sold in the California market," he added.
Flagging the discussion, Bihar Planning Board deputy chairman NK Singh emphasised the need to monetise the cost of pollution. This will send a market signal to both demand and supply sides. It will also spur innovation ,forging an alliance between industry, academia and civil society, Singh said.
Petroleum secretary MS Srinivasan stressed the need to have a policy framework to ensure that kerosene reaches the targeted segments of the society.
A pilot scheme will be launched shortly in four districts using smart cards, he said.
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