PM pitches for partnership of oil producers, consumers to stabilise economy

Andrew Cummings
October 18, 2018

With no signs of respite from rising fuel prices, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged global oil suppliers to review payment terms to provide a temporary relief to the local currency.

Sharma maintained that there was a hike in the price of the fighter aircraft India was buying from France and asserted that the prime minister needed to clear many doubts about the deal that had been raised.

The oil company leaders met to discuss the the prevailing energy scenario, effects of U.S. sanctions on Iran and volatile oil prices affecting economic growth.

The meeting would look at measures to attract investments and steps for making it easier to do business in India.

The RBI said in its policy statement: "Global headwinds in the form of escalating trade tensions, volatile and rising oil prices, and tightening of global financial conditions pose substantial risks to the growth and inflation outlook". The country is heavily dependent on imports, with around 83 per cent of the fuel being bought from overseas. While the Opposition has blamed the Union government for not taking enough measures to keep a tab on prices, the latter has maintained that global crude oil prices and other worldwide factors are causing a hike in prices of fuel.

Interacting with CEOs and Experts from Oil and Gas Sector from India and overseas in New Delhi, the Prime Minister drew their attention on certain key policy issues relevant to India. Thirdly, he sought the role of private participation in the distribution of gas sector.

The meet was held as petrol and diesel prices continued their upward march despite a drop in crude oil prices by 5 to 6 dollars a barrel.

He referred to Mod's meeting with global oil and gas experts on Monday and said such news reports come during election periods even though the Modi government keeps burdening common people with central taxes on petrol and diesel. India is the third largest consumer of oil in the world. In the second in October 2017, suggestions were made for giving out equity to foreign and private companies in producing oil and gas fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL).

On Sunday, petrol was priced at Rs. 82.72 per litre in the national capital, up from Rs 82.66 on Saturday, data on the Indian Oil Corporation website showed. Import dependence has only increased since then and the government is now looking for ways to raise domestic output.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan, Vice-Chairman NITI Aayog Rajiv Kumar and senior officials from the government and Niti Aayog were also present.

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