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THE PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS REGULATORY BOARD ACT, 2006

Title : THE PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS REGULATORY BOARD ACT, 2006

Year : 2006

(1) The Board shall maintain a data bank and information system relating to activities of entities dealing with petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas in such form and manner as may be provided by regulations.

(2) The Board shall have power to verify the data supplied by the entities and appoint any person or persons for the purpose and take such measures as it may consider necessary.

(1) Every entity shall-

(a) Maintain such documentary records as may be specified by the Board by regulations;

(b) Allow inspection of such facilities and documentary records, as may be specified by the Board, by any person authorised by the Board;

(c) Commence operation of activities for which authorisation has been granted within such period as may be specified by the Board in the document of authorisation;

(d) Register-

(i) Agreements with the Board relating to use of pipelines for supply of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas; or

(ii) Any other document which the Board may determine by regulations;

(e) Comply with marketing service obligations and retail service obligations.

(2) The Board may call for any information from any entity including information which is considered necessary for ensuring transparency or ascertaining true ownership of the entity.

(3) The Board or any officer authorised by the Board shall have the power to inspect and obtain information, wherever necessary, from the entities.

(4) For the effective enforcement of the terms and conditions of authorisation, the Board or any officer authorised by it for that purpose, shall have all the powers of an inspecting officer as provided under section 209A of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956).

(5) It shall be the duty of every entity to carry out the directions of the Board given under this section.

(6) The Board shall maintain confidentiality in respect of any information and record received by it from the entities and shall not disclose information contained therein to any person or authority except on the grounds of public interest.

The Board shall furnish to the Central Government at such time and in such form and manner as may be prescribed or as the Central Government may direct, such returns and statements and such particulars in regard to any matter in connection with proposed or existing activities under this Act, as the Central Government may, from time to time, require.

The Chairperson, Members, Officers and other employees of the Board and Technical Member (Petroleum and Natural Gas) of the Appellate Tribunal shall be deemed, when acting or purporting to act in pursuance of any of the provisions of this Act, to be public servants within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Central Government, Board, Technical Authority or Appellate Tribunal or any officer of the Central Government or any Chairperson, Member, officer or other employee of the Board or Technical Member (Petroleum and Natural Gas) of the Appellate Tribunal for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules or regulations made there under.

No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which the Board or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered by or under this Act to determine, and no injunction shall be granted by any court or other authority in respect of any action taken or to be taken in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.

(1) No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under Chapter IX save on a complaint made by the Board or by any investigating agency directed by the Central Government.

(2) No court inferior to that of a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or of a Chief Judicial Magistrate shall try any offence punishable under Chapter IX.

(3) Every offence punishable under sections 44, 45, 46 and 47 shall be cognizable.

The Board may, by general or special order in writing, delegate to any member or officer of the Board subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the order, such of its powers and functions under this Act (except the power to settle a dispute under Chapter VI and to make regulations under section 61), as it may deem necessary.

(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by order, published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act as it may deem necessary for removing the difficulty:

Provided that no order shall be made under this section after the expiry of two years from the date of commencement of this Act.

(2) Every order made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament.

(1) The Central Government may, by notification, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) The salaries and allowances payable to and the other conditions of service of the Chairperson and the other members under subsection

(4) Of section 5;

(b) The procedure for appointment of any person or constitution of any authority and conducting inquiry under section 7;

(c) The salaries and allowances payable to and the other terms and conditions of service of the Secretary, officers and other employees of the Board, under sub-section (3) of section 10;

(d) Any other matter in respect of which the Board may exercise the powers of a civil court under clause (i) of sub-section (1) of section 13;

(e) The eligibility conditions which an entity shall fulfill for registration under sub-section (1) of section 15;

(f) The form of appeal and the manner of verifying such form, and the fee which shall accompany such form, under sub-section (2) of section 33;

(g) The manner in which the accounts of the Board shall be maintained under sub-section (1) of section 40;

(h) The time and manner in which the annual report of the Board shall be prepared under sub-section (1) of section 41;

(i) The form and manner in which applications for claiming compensation shall be made, the procedure for determining the compensation and the time within which such compensation shall be payable, under sub-section (3) of section 43;

(j) The time and manner in which returns and statements are to be furnished by the Board to the Central Government under section 53;

(k) Any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed, or in respect of which provision is to be made, by rules.

(1) The Board may, by notification, make regulations consistent with this Act and the rules made there under to carry out the provisions of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-

(a) The time and places of meetings of the Board and the procedure (including quorum necessary for the transaction of business) to be followed at such meetings under sub-section (1) of section 8;

(b) The powers and duties of the Secretary under sub-section (1) of section 10;

(c) The terms and conditions of the consultants appointed under subsection

(4) Of section 10;

(d) The capacity of storage facilities for petroleum, petroleum products or natural gas requiring registration under sub-clause (iii) of clause (b) of section 11;

(e) Regulating open access to and transportation rate for the common carrier or contract carrier or city or local natural gas distribution network and other matters referred to in clause (e) of section 11;

(f) Marketing service obligations for entities and retail service obligations for retail outlets under sub-clause (v) of clause (f) of section 11;

(g) Levy of fees and other charges under clause (g) of section 11;

(h) The technical standards and specifications including safety standards in activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas under clause (i) of section 11;

(i) The procedure to be followed by the Board including the places at which it shall conduct its business under sub-section (3) of section 13;

(j) The manner of maintaining the Petroleum and Natural Gas Register under sub-section (1) of section 14;

(k) The form and manner of making application for obtaining certified copy of any entry in the register and the fee which shall accompany such application, under sub-section (4) of section 14;

(l) The form and manner in which an application under sub-section (1) of section 15 shall be made and the fee which shall accompany such application under sub-section (2) of section 15;

(m) The manner by which a certificate of registration granted under sub-section (3) of section 15 may be suspended or cancelled under sub-section (4) of section 15;

(n) The form and manner in which an application under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 17 shall be made and the fee which shall accompany such application under sub-section (3) of section 17;

(o) The form and manner in which publicity of acceptance of applications for registration shall be made under section 18;

(p) The manner of selection of an entity under sub-section (2) of section 19;

(q) The principles for determining the number of years for which a city or local natural gas distribution network shall be excluded from the purview of a common carrier or contract carrier under sub-section (4) of section 20;

(r) The guiding principles to be followed by the Board and the objectives for declaring, or authorising to lay, build, operate or expand a common carrier or contract carrier for declaring, or authorising to lay, build, operate or expand a city or local natural gas distribution network, under sub-section (5) of section 20;

(s) The affiliate code of conduct under which the entities are required to comply with under the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 21;

(t) The transportation tariffs for common carriers or contract carriers or city or local natural gas distribution network and the manner of determining such tariffs under sub-section (1) of section 22;

(u) The form in which a complaint may be made and the fee which shall accompany such complaint, under sub-section (2) of section 25;

(v) The manner of holding an investigation by an Investigating Officer under sub-section (1) of section 26;

(w) The qualifications and experience which any person for appointment as an Investigating Officer shall possess, under subsection (2) of section 26;

(x) The form and manner of maintaining data bank and information system by the Board under sub-section (1) of section 51;

(y) Maintenance of documentary records by an entity, under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 52;

(z) Any other type of documents which are to be registered with the Board under sub-clause (ii) of clause (d) of sub-section (1) of section 52;

(za) Any other matter which is required to be, or may be, specified by regulations or in respect of which provision is to be or may be made by regulations.

Every rule made by the Central Government and every regulation made by the Board under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or regulation or both Houses agree that the rule or regulation should not be made, the rule or regulation shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule or regulation.

(1) Where, before the commencement of this Act, an agreement or agreements have been entered into between one oil company and another for the purpose of sharing of petroleum products or sharing of infrastructure facilities among the oil companies and such agreements have been approved by the Central Government, the Board may monitor the implementation of such agreements for the transition period.

(2) The Board shall monitor setting up of dealerships and distributorships of motor spirit, high speed diesel, superior kerosene oil, liquefied petroleum gas and CNG stations for natural gas during transition period by the entities without encroaching on the retail network of the existing entities.

Explanation I.-For the purposes of this section, the expression "transition period" shall mean a period of three years from the date of commencement of this Act.

Explanation II.-For the purposes of this section, "infrastructure facilities" shall mean facilities at ports, refineries, terminals, depots and aviation fuelling stations including hydrant lines and shall include loading and unloading facilities.

Explanation III.-For the purposes of this section "encroaching" includes taking over of retail outlet of one entity by another.

Last updated on June, 2016

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