The representatives of a collective forum of officers of GAIL (India) Limited, GAIL Officers Association (GOA), have opposed the government’s plans to unbundle its gas marketing and transmission businesses. According to the members, the Central government has not replied to or approached GOA on the concerns regarding the proposed unbundling. GOA had written to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in 2018 to express its opposition to the move, citing concerns about the viability of the two businesses as separate entities and the impact of the move on the company’s plans to expand its pipeline network. Recently, a notice from the ministry has reaffirmed the Centre’s plans to unbundle GAIL’s gas marketing and transmission businesses to make it more competitive and increase credibility. The government aims to assure equal access to natural gas consumers to GAIL’s 12,200-km gas pipeline network, accounting for about 70 per cent of the gas pipeline network in India.
The representatives have noted that the gas marketing and transmission businesses have been able to add stability to GAIL’s overall financial health in events such as fluctuations in international natural gas prices. Besides, they have also pointed out that profits from the gas marketing business have helped the company to invest in building additional gas infrastructure, expressing concerns about viability of these businesses as separate entities.