Indian Industry Minister Goyal holds consultation with petroleum and explosives industry and PESO

Indian Industry Minister Goyal holds consultation with petroleum and explosives industry and PESO

Announces 80% concession for Women Entrepreneurs and 50% for MSMEs in licensing fees for licenses granted by PESO

  • By ICN Bureau | July 05, 2024

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal chaired a Stakeholder Consultation yesterday in New Delhi to solicit insights and feedback from Petroleum, Explosives, Fireworks and other related industry leaders, aimed at enhancing efficiency in the functioning of Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO).

Goyal stated that the compliance of the Petroleum and Explosives Industry must be balanced with public safety. The Stakeholder Consultation was convened by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Goyal announced 80% concession for Women Entrepreneurs and 50% for MSMEs in licensing fees for licenses granted by PESO. He directed PESO to formulate guidelines in consultation with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) for creating a template of safety measures allowing retail outlets of petrol pumps to function in cases where there is habitation within 30-50 metres.

The Minister said that QR code for cylinders is incorporated in the draft Gas Cylinders Rules (GCR) and final notification will be out soon. He directed that a committee will be formed to study if a licence for explosives, transport and manufacturing can be given for ten years; a committee will examine the issue regarding increasing the validity of licence to 10 years as all licences except for explosives are given for a duration of ten years.

To further streamline processes, the Minister directed that efforts must be made to involve Third Party Inspection Agencies (TPIAs) in more areas. He said that online permission modules will be developed by PESO for few areas which are yet offline. Shri Goyal directed that the process for filling up vacancies in PESO must be expedited.

Petrol pump licences are issued in Form XIV of Petroleum Rules 2002 whereas Licence for CNG dispensing facilities within petroleum retail outlets are issued in Form G of Gas Cylinders Rules. As both the licences are under different Rules and Acts, amendments in the licence in Form XIV are also required to be done after grant of licence for CNG facilities in the same petrol pump. This amendment will be dispensed with by required changes in the modules. This will reduce the compliance burden as well as reduce the workload of PESO.

During the deliberations, Goyal emphasized the simplification of processes and approvals in PESO and directed to adopt the best global practices for regulation of petroleum and explosives. PESO officers were asked to strictly adhere to the timelines for clearing applications. It was also decided to issue FAQs for different approvals and licences. The Minister directed that NOC by District Authorities should be issued through Licensing System for District Authority (LSDA) online system.   

In response to the suggestions given and issues raised by the industry during the consultation, the Minister directed MoPNG and the concerned industry associations to form committees to carve out details of suggestions made by them. These committees were tasked to study and recommend best practices and standards. He suggested these industry committees to review and propose amendments to regulatory rules and framework to expedite and streamline processes. He also directed DPIIT to form a committee consisting of industry representatives, PESO officers, DPIIT officers, CPCB, MoPNG and Oil companies to work in a time-bound manner on suggested reforms.

The consultation brought together over 150 stakeholders representing various industries of the petroleum, explosives and other related industrial sectors from across the country. During the meeting, industry associations like Federation of Agrivalue Chain Manufacturers and Exporters (FAME), Explosives Manufacturers Welfare Association (EMWA), Indian Ammonium Nitrate Manufacturers Association (IANMA) and All India Industrial Gas Manufacturers Association (AIIGMA) highlighted critical areas for regulatory improvement and operational enhancement to streamline procedures and enhance ease of doing business.               

Recommendations were made to enhance digitalization and transparency through the PESO online portal, ensuring quick responses to inquiries and timely issuance of NOCs and licences.

PESO, a subordinate office under DPIIT, plays a pivotal role in administering regulatory frameworks established under the Explosives Act, 1884, Petroleum Act, 1934. Over recent years, PESO has undertaken significant reforms, including the introduction of a paperless licensing system, adherence to strict approval timelines, and the integration of Third-Party Inspection Agencies, all aimed at simplifying compliance procedures and bolstering safety standards across industries dealing with hazardous substances.

The stakeholder consultation underscored a collaborative effort towards fostering a conducive regulatory environment in the petroleum and explosives sectors. DPIIT remains steadfast in its commitment in reducing compliance burden, promoting ease of doing business, and safeguarding industry standards across the nation. DPIIT reaffirmed its commitment to ongoing stakeholder engagements and pledged to incorporate feedback to further streamline regulatory processes within PESO. Initiatives to adopt a risk-based approach to regulation, capacity building for regulatory bodies, and enhanced digital transformation were highlighted as key priorities for the Ministry moving forward.

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