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Union Government has constituted six-member committee to look at selling as many as 149 small and marginal oil and gas fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) to private and foreign companies to boost domestic output.
The committee will be headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and includes Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Oil Secretary M M Kutty, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Shashi Shanker as members.
Constitution of this committee is follow up of October 2018meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review domestic production profile of oil and gas and the roadmap for cutting import dependence by 10% by 2022. In this meeting, Union Oil Ministry had made presentation showing that 149 smaller fields of ONGC, OIL and other explorers accounted for just 5% of domestic crude oil production. It was suggested at the meeting that these smaller fields could be given out to private and foreign firms, so that ONGC could concentrate on big ones where it could rope in technology partners through production enhancement contracts (PEC) or technical service arrangements. This was mainly large ONGC fields as contribute to 95% of its production and leave out the rest for private firms.
Union Finance Ministry has appointed Akhilesh Ranjan, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) member as Convenor of Task Force that is drafting New Direct Tax Legislation (Law). He will replace Arbind Modi who retired in September 2018. The other members (composition) of the Task Force remain unchanged. Akhilesh Ranjan is presently serving as Member (Legislation) of CBDT.
The task force was constituted in November 2017 in order to review Income-tax Act, 1961 and to draft new direct tax law in consonance with the economic needs of the country. At that time, Arbind Modi, who was then Member (Legislation) of CBDT was appointed as Convener of task force.
The task force has been mandated to draft appropriate Direct Tax Legislation keeping in view direct tax system prevalent in various countries, international best practices and economic needs of the country. It will submit its report to Government by February 28, 2019. It has set its own procedures for regulating its work.
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