Various proposals have been made in the Budget 2015-16 which would lead to greater stability, clarity and continuity in the economy and the petroleum and natural gas sector.

Subsidies will continue so that there is no adverse impact on the general public. As stated by the Finance Minister, the Government is committed to the process of rationalizing subsidies and cut leakages, not cut subsidies. Adequate funds have been provided for LPG and kerosene subsidies. Finance Minister appealed to the well off strata, including those concerned for the welfare of the poor, to voluntarily give up subsidy on LPG.

In context of rationalization and targeting of LPG subsidy, it was highlighted that under DBTL Rs.6335 crore have been transferred to over 11.5 crore beneficiaries.

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There is revision in specific rates of excise duty on petrol and diesel only to the extent of subsuming the quantum of education cess levied, keeping the total incidence of excise duty unchanged. Further, the effective rates of additional excise duty levied on petrol and diesel is proposed to be increased from Rs.2 per litre to Rs.6 per litre to fund investment in roads and other infrastructure to the extent of Rs.40,000 crore.

In order to ensure energy security in the country, strategic crude oil underground storage reserves of 5.33 MMT are being set up by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) at Visakhapatnam, Padur and Mangalore. An amount of Rs.2,400 crore has been provided under the Plan head in 2014-15 (RE) for filling crude oil in the caverns.

An amount of Rs.72589 crore is proposed to be allocated in 2015-16 as Plan capital expenditure by oil and gas Central public sector enterprises from the internal and extra budgetary resources (IEBR) of the companies for projects for exploration and production, refining & marketing, petro chemicals and engineering.

It has been proposed to reduce the rate of corporate income tax from 30% at present to 25% in the next 4 years. It is expected that this would lead to higher investment and growth in the sector.

In order to boost investment in infrastructure, a National Investment and Infrastructure Fund is being established. The PPP mode of infrastructure development would be revitalized. It is expected that this would invite investment for the petroleum and natural gas sector. (Source- PIB)

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