ONGC pays government Rs2,900-cr as interim dividend

State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) has paid an interim dividend of Rs2,900 crore, representing 100-per cent return on equity to the government, its biggest shareholder, for the financial year 2013-14.

Sudhir Vasudeva, chairman and managing director of the state-run oil and gas explorer, handed over a cheque of Rs29,61,27,32,610 to petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily in New Delhi today.

The government of India currently holds a 69.23-per cent stake in ONGC and the dividend of Rs5 per equity share of Rs5 each represents 100 per cent of the paid-up share capital.

Meanwhile, the government has earmarked Rs9,000 crore for payments to oil marketing companies to compensate them for under-recoveries in the sale of diesel, kerosene and domestic cooking gas (LPG), after the Lok Sabha on Thursday approved the central government's second supplementary demand for grants for additional spending of Rs18,594.27 crore in 2013-14.

Oil marketing companies, including Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Indian Oil Corporation will share the Rs9,000 crore this financial year.

With the oil subsidy expected to touch Rs1,47,000 crore this fiscal, the ministry of petroleum has sought the lion's share of the additional funds, amounting to Rs10,336 crore, for payments to oil marketing companies and meeting the establishment related expenditure of the Petroleum Regulatory Board.

Of this, OMCs will be given Rs9,000 crore to meet under recoveries while Rs1,336 crore has been set aside as direct transfer of cash subsidy to LPG consumers.

The Budget 2013-14 had allocated just Rs65,000 crore for oil subsidy of which Rs45,000 crore was released as subsidy payments for the last fiscal, an official release stated today.

Faced with mounting revenue losses, of nearly Rs32,000 crore, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has asked the petroleum ministry to lighten its burden by jacking up prices of kerosene, diesel and domestic LPG cylinders by Rs50 in total.

IOC chairman RS Butola has written to petroleum secretary Vivek Rae saying that mounting revenue losses have adversely impacted the company's liquidity position. The retailers are also burdened with several other costs, amounting to Rs7,500 crore, for which they are not compensated.