No stay on order for IGL to slash Delhi gas prices

The Delhi High Court today refused to stay an order from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board that Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), who must not only cut the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped domestic gas in Delhi, but also refund the ''excess'' amount charged since 2008 to consumers.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice R S Endlaw passed this ruling after hearing a plea filed by IGL, the sole supplier of CNG and piped gas in Delhi and its suburbs, against an earlier order by the regulator.

The court's verdict is not final; it has asked IGL and the regulatory board to file their synopses and listed the matter for final arguments on 19 April.

In its petition filed on Tuesday, IGL contended that the regulatory board did not give it a hearing and calculated the tariff at 2008 price levels without considering the rise in input costs and various charges.

In an order passed on 9 April, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board fixed pipeline transportation tariff at Rs38.58 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) as against Rs104.05 per mmBtu sought by IGL.

Gas compression prices were also reduced by the regulator to Rs2.75 per mmBtu from Rs6.66, both changes being effective retrospectively from 1 April 2008.