From a very specific petroleum industry’s stand point, I think the reference to natural gas as an infrastructure entity and the fact that custom duties might be reduced on the natural gas import is the highlight of the Budget.
Natural gas as an industry help us in incentivising the companies investing in pipelines. If you don’t have the investments you can’t bring the gas to the consumers. He has outlined public-private initiatives in the sector and that would help build the much needed infrastructure in the sector. All this put together will invite investment in the natural gas industry.
Then if you move further on the subsidy front, there is certainly some concerns to be addressed on the efficiency of the distribution of the subsidies in the system. That the changes the finance minister has outlined for improving the quality of the disbursement of the subsidies is the second highlight.
The third highlight would be reference to and more than reference would for the new energy sources. For example, to encourage solar and thermal projects and the demand and management for the energy. The sector gets some incentives and the tax exemption on some of the equipment is encouraging. I would think the government can reduce the subsidies on kerosene and transfer parts of it to the solar by distributing free solar lanterns and solar cookers.