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The Indian government will reopen the sale of oil and gas blocks under the eighth edition of new exploration licensing policy (NELP) as Finance Minister restores tax breaks for natural gas. The deadline for submitting bids is likely to be extended. Promotional road-shows for 70 blocks and 10 coal bed methane region were to start on April 20, 2009 but the programme has been delayed over uncertainty on accessibility of tax holidays for natural gas.

The budget for 2009-10 says that seven years holiday from payment of income tax on profits gained from production and sale of natural gas would be available for blocks to be awarded in NELP-VIII. Alike fiscal concession was already available for crude oil.

The government had kicked off NELP-VIII and CBM-IV on April 9, 2009. August 10, 2009 was the cut off date for the submission of the bids. There was a probability of extending the August 10, 2009 bid deadline as more than three months had been already lost.