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Thursday, Mar 28, 2002

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Government - Policy

New cell to replace OCC

Balaji C. Mouli

NEW DELHI, March 27

THE Government plans to replace the Oil Coordination Committee (OCC) with the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) on April 1.

The OCC provides a forum for petro-marketing companies to administer the sale of four controlled products — petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG. This involves hosting supply-plan meetings to decide on the volume of sale of the products across regions.

Also, the accounting of under-recoveries as well as over-recoveries in the sale of the four products is managed by the OCC. The under-recoveries reflect as a receivable on the balance sheet of the oil marketing companies and earn an interest of 10.5 per cent from the Government.

With the dismantling of the APM and freeing of product prices on April 1, 2002, the oil marketing companies are technically free to fix the prices of all these commodities.

The PPAC's role will be restricted to analysing the trends in the international oil markets and domestic prices; forecasting and evaluation of petroleum imports and export trends; maintenance of information database and communication system to deal with emergencies and unforeseen circumstances.

It will also administer the subsidies in LPG sale as well as the freight subsidy for far-flung areas and operationalise sector-specific surcharge schemes.

In the post-APM era, during the current year, the Budget will meet a fixed subsidy of Rs 4,500 crore towards the sale of LPG and kerosene.

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