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    Default Committee pitchs for flexibility on LNG trade

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    Keeping in mind the continued shortfall in the domestic gas production and the mounting demand for gas, an inter-Ministerial Committee has pitched for flexibility in transportation of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and keeping in abeyance the guidelines of Director General (Shipping) for grant of license to LNG vessels.

    This decision was taken following the report of the inter-ministerial on “review of existing LNG shipping policy” which felt that the DG Shipping guidelines for grant of license to LNG vessels should not be implemented at this juncture as it could hamper the free import of much needed LNG. The guidelines stated that LNG vessel should be Indian flag vessel; Indian shipping entity to own 26 per cent; employ minimum 2 Indian officers and two trainee officers/cadets; LNG importer cannot fix spot vessels for more than 10 per cent of the total annual imports and transfer technology to Indian partner within 5 years.

    However, the Inter ministerial committee of the Central government decided that in order to provide flexibility in transportation of LNG, the DG Shipping guidelines for grant of licence to LNG vessels should be kept in abeyance. “Flexibility in transportation of LNG has been beneficial to LNG consumers. We propose that this flexibility to import LNG on FOB basis or CIF basis should continue with the buyers and there should be no restriction in this trade,” the committee report said. The inter-ministerial group comprised of Petroleum Ministry, Commerce Ministry and Shipping Ministry officials.
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