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Govt to clear air on tax
May, 16th 2009

The government will very soon bring out a clear and transparent policy on the issue of granting tax holiday to oil explorers on the 
production of natural gas, a top government functionary on Friday said.

"We are trying to make it (policy on tax holiday on production of crude oil and natural gas) as clear and transparent as possible. A transparent policy will be brought out when the new government is formed," Economic Advisor to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Archana Mathur, said.

India, which launched its biggest ever auction of oil and gas blocks, offering 70 areas for bidding on April 9, deferred promotional roadshows as investors had raised concerns over the lack of tax incentives on production of gas.

Under the NELP Policy, potential bidders for oil blocks have been assured of a seven year tax holiday on crude oil from the beginning of commercial production.

Income tax authorities have not allowed the same relief on gas production due to lack of specific inclusion of the term "Natural Gas" in the Income Tax Act.

Mathur said "greater clarity will come very soon". She said the government is doing its best to woo the private sector to come and invest in exploring India's sedimentary basins.

"We do need private sector participation and foreign investment," she said.

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