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‘Align fuel prices with world rates’

‘Align fuel prices with world rates’
Close on the heels of the steep increase in diesel price and cap on supply of subsidised LPG, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday that greater alignment of domestic rates with global prices is in the interest of both consumers and investors. A steep Rs 5.62 per litre hike notwithstanding, diesel continues to be sold at a discount of Rs 11.05 per litre to its actual cost as international rates continue to rule high.

Inaugurating the 10th edition of the Petrotech Oil & Gas Conference here, Mukherjee said, ‘In the present international environment of rising petroleum prices, greater alignment of prices to global prices is in the interest of both consumers as well as investors. The government is committed to adopt a time-bound programme to achieve this.’

The government had in June 2010 freed petrol prices from its control and agreed to free diesel rates in a calibrated manner.

‘Just like the financial markets, the world energy markets are inherently global and interdependent, and no single country can isolate itself from the market,’ the President said in an apparent reference to India's dependence on world markets to meet its energy needs.

India's oil import bill, he said, has crossed $150 billion as it imports 75 per cent of its needs.

‘For a GDP growth of over 8 per cent during India's 12th [Five Year] Plan, it would be imperative for us to ensure better demand management in our country,’ he said.

‘There must be increased understanding of the fact that the path to a more sustainable future will require our society to make a better balance between its energy consumption vis a vis its costs and availability,’ observed Mukherjee.

The President congratulated the Petrotech Society for its contribution to the development of the hydrocarbon sector in India and its integration with the global hydrocarbon industry. He said that the need of the moment for India is to build strong economic partnerships with other oil producing countries and their oil and gas industries to the mutual benefit of each other.

Special attention was required for development of research and emerging new technologies which are innovative and advanced yet affordable. The Indian hydrocarbon sector must be equipped to responsibly deliver cleaner, more reliable and viable energy.

The President outlined his expectations from the domestic oil & gas industry to place sustainable development at the core of its business decisions. He also said that conferences like this enable professionals and technologists to keep abreast of the latest developments at the global level.

IndianOil Chairman R S Butola welcomed the galaxy of ministers, technologists, technocrats and scientists gathered on the occasion from different parts of the world. He pointed out that a platform like the Petrotech Conference brings the best minds of the oil sector across the globe to deliberate on various issues affecting the industry.

Butola also noted that the Petrotech Conference is becoming a significant event in the global calendar as well as a viable platform to find solutions to global concerns on energy.

Lifetime Achievement Awards were also conferred on the occasion for significant contributions to the oil sector in the country. Md. Asad Pathan, U Sundarajan, the late Subir Raha and S J Chopra were awarded this honour by the President.

An audio-visual film, ‘Energy Next for Generation Next.’ was screened on the occasion. The film was based on the aspirations of the new generation of Indians seeking solutions from the country's leaders. [WITH PTI INPUTS]


REDDY FOR 3-POINT OIL SECURITY STRATEGY

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas S Jaipal Reddy has emphasised the need for proactive action on three fronts with the objective of ensuring energy security in the country. Chairing a session on ‘Securing Growth: Energy & Prosperity’ at the Petrotech 2012 conference on Monday, he said, ‘Three priorities — developing our domestic reserves, assessing global energy sources and ensuring energy efficiency — will be the focus areas in developing countries over the coming decades.’ Listing out his specific concerns regarding energy security for India, the petroleum minister said, ‘For India, energy security is a truly central issue. India is likely to emerge as one of the top 3rd or 4th importers in the world, of all energy forms – oil, coal, gas and uranium.’ Given the high correlation between economic growth and energy consumption, for emerging economies like India and China, where economic growth and increasing population are driving strong demand for energy, this theme is highly relevant. Securing energy for these countries is a prerequisite to ensuring long-term growth, added Reddy.
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