PM pitches for partnership between producers, consumers in oil market

Kenny Grant
October 18, 2018

Even as junior external affairs minister MJ Akbar termed as "wild and baseless" the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him and said he would take legal action against the women who accused him, the Congress trained its guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, questioning his silence on the subject was "conspicuous and unaccceptable".

With Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Khalid A Al-Falih and a UAE minister listening, Modi at his third annual brainstorming with the chief executives of top global and Indian oil and gas companies underscored how crude oil prices at a four-year high were hurting global growth.

The oil company leaders met to discuss the the prevailing energy scenario, effects of United States sanctions on Iran and volatile oil prices affecting economic growth. This meeting is organized to find out the suggestions on how to deal with the current situation and how to attract foreign investment. Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Anand Sharma said the nation and women are waiting for the Prime Minister's stance on the matter. India is dependent on imports to meet its 83 per cent of the demand and more than half of its natural gas requirements.

Though there are various external vulnerabilities (prominent among them is a rise of oil price) that need to be arrested in order to continue the growth momentum of the Indian economy, but it seems that the government is taking enough measures to curb the trade deficit.

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Modi's first meeting was on 5 January, 2016 where suggestions for reforming natural gas prices were made. But the plan could not go through in view of strong opposition from Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). Import dependence has only increased since then and the government is now looking for ways to raise domestic output. Meanwhile, petrol in Mumbai is retailing at Rs 88.18 per litre and diesel is at Rs 79.11/litre, data on the Indian Oil Corporation website showed. The Brent crude oil has gone upwards of $85 per barrel.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and NITI-Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar were also present at the meeting.

In Delhi, petrol today costs Rs 82.72/litre and diesel is Rs 75.46/litre.

Last week, however, the central government sanctioned Rs 2.50 cut on the fuel pries bringing a relief to the consumers.

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