Millennium Post

Govt is fully aware of oil sector leakages & pilferage: Pradhan

Government on Wednesday said it is aware of pilferages in petroleum sector and will come out with a marketing plan to stop it through technological intervention. "We are aware about the leakages and pilferages. That has to be stopped through technological intervention," Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in Rajya Sabha.

He said a lot of pilferages and leakages occur in mid-stream and down-stream sector. "This country has to upgrade its marketing network. We have to modernise ourselves. Through massive technological intervention only, this can be solved. This new government is on the job," Pradhan said. 

"We have formed a committee to look into the details. We are coming out with a new marketing plan. Through that, all the answers can be given," he added. Asked why the government was not passing on the benefits of reduced international oil prices to consumers, the Minister said the policy adopted by the previous UPA government for determining the prices of petrol and diesel was being adopted by this government and the benefit of reduced prices was being passed on as per previous policy.

When a member termed the high taxes imposed by government on petroleum products as "loot", Pradhan lamented that the member considered making roads and creating infrastructure for the poor as loot. Replying to questions, Pradhan said that as many as 3.9 lakh people in the country have surrendered their LPG subsidy and government will soon come ut with a policy for determining the beneficiaries of subsidised kerosene in consultation with sattes. He said measures are being taken for conservation of petroleum products and the money saved from surrendered LPG subsidy will be utilised for providing amenities for the poor. 

On the issue of kerosene, he said "The distribution of kerosene to states is done under the Federal structure and government is in discussion with states for determining the beneficiaries of subsidised kerosene and will soon come out with a policy after consultation with states." 

The minister also said that as per preliminary estimates around Rs 6-7 lakh crore are to be invested in the Petroleum and Natural Gas sector in the next five years. 

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