GAIL (India) has proposed two pipelines to initially be monetised through the Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) route. A proposal for the same is awaiting a nod from the centre and earlier plans to completely monetise the pipeline business of the company at one go are now on the back burner.
Responding to a query on the unbundling of marketing and transportation business of GAIL, Chairman and Managing Director, Manoj Jain said, “There is presently no pending proposal in this regard, however, we are initiating a process for the monetisation through InvIT process for two pipelines initially. A proposal in this regard has been sent to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Once we get the clearance from Ministry, then we will be working on this monetisation through INVIT.”
Sharing the current status of preparations, he said, “The Oil Ministry is preparing for putting this proposal before the Union Cabinet, once that is approved, then we will appoint the advisors within GAIL and start the process.”
“We will try to expedite it, but we will see how the government gives us clearances. With that we will expect that we should try to do it. In any case we also want to test the market through these two pipelines and understand if this is beneficial…If the numbers are satisfactory then there may be further assets that need to be monetised through this route,” Jain told Business Standard in response to a query on whether the GAIL InvIT can go through in the current financial year 2020-21.
Jain said that GAIL had incurred a capital expenditure of Rs. 5,000 crore for setting up these two pipelines, but did not disclose the names of these projects.
Commenting on the earlier proposed monetisation of pipeline business by spinning it off into a separate entity, he said, “We are now going pipeline-wise, rather than going for the entire segment at once.”
GAIL reported a decline in consolidated net profit to Rs. 2,534.64 crores in the fourth quarter of financial year 2020-21. This is down from Rs. 4,813.88 crores in the same quarter of the previous financial year 2019-20. Consolidated total income for the period under review stood at Rs. 16,204.69 crores, down from Rs. 18,893.64 crores in the comparable quarter of 2019-20.
For the full financial year 2020-21, consolidated total income stood at Rs. 58,548.46 crores, down from Rs. 74,114.13 crores in 2019-20. Consolidated net profit during the year stood at Rs. 6,142.82 crores, down from Rs. 9,514.64 crores a year ago.
GAIL said that the company’s petrochemical business has shown better performance with more than 100 per cent capacity utilization. Commenting on the operations during the pandemic year, Jain said that the operations of the plant and pipelines were stable and no major shutdown took place during the year.
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