Splitting GAIL has been considered before, following the government's move to allow private players to enter the gas industry in the past decade.
"We want GAIL to focus on laying gas pipelines," Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters when asked about plans to split the gas utility.
"Our priority, and expectation from GAIL is to focus on building pipelines mainly in eastern India. GAIL is doing that job well. Anybody can do marketing," he added.
Many private players see GAIL's dominance in owning and operating most of the country's gas pipeline network as conflicting with its other role as a gas marketing and trading firm.
Gas marketing accounted for 28 per cent of GAIL's profit in the financial year 2016/17, while the transmission business contributed 46 per cent.
GAIL, formed in 1984 to build gas pipelines, has diversified into petrochemicals, exploration and gas trading. It has signed long-term gas purchase deals, which include 5.8 million tonnes liquefied natural gas (LNG) booked out of the U.S.
The state-run company operates about 11,000 km (6,900 miles) of gas pipelines in the country that can distribute 210 million cubic metres of gas a day.
It is investing Rs 20,200 crore to add a further 4,200 km (2,600 miles), the company's website says.
Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum have expressed interest in acquiring GAIL.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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