On US President Donald Trump’s decision to snap nuclear deal with Iran, Dharmendra Pradhan said it is too early to come to a conclusion and that he doesn’t see any disruption in fuel supplies to India.
Naidu, who broke away from the NDA over the issue of special package for his state, sought Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s intervention to resolve the high prices of petrol and diesel as they contribute 2.5 percent to the inflation index.
India is the world’s third largest oil importer after China and the US. Japan is the fourth largest importer and South Korea is right behind it. The four nations account for over a third of the oil imports in the world.
The union minister’s remarks came a day after petrol price hit a four-year high of Rs 73.73 a litre while diesel rates touched an all-time high of Rs 64.58 in the national capital, renewing calls for the government to cut excise tax rates.
“India is a happening place for energy. Every day 40 million people are going to hydrocarbon retail points to meet their demand, and 190 million people are getting the benefit of subsidies. India offers 1 lakh crore of bio-fuel and bio-energy business to the world,” Pradhan said
After talks with Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Pradhan said the oil kingpin is also interested in partnering in the second phase of strategic oil reserves India plans to build shortly.
Pradhan said this referring to the BJD’s allegation that the cash seized by police from Bijepur on Saturday night, was meant for electoral benefits of the BJP candidate. The ruling BJD also claimed that the persons arrested in the cash recovery case, were VHP and BJP members.
Nearly 80% of the beneficiaries under the scheme refilled cylinders, said Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
The Union Minister said if the state government had no confidence in the CBI, it could also go for a court-monitored inquiry by a Special Investigation Team. He also alleged that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was yet to review the case.
Dharmendra Pradhan said the challenge is to equip and skill people to make use of it and also to regulate the technology in a way that it is not misused.
The Odisha government had recently opposed the Centre’s action of appointing IAS officers as Prabhari (in-charge) officers in eight most-backward districts of the state for addressing the developmental needs of the people there.
“Oil refining capacity in the country stands at over 247 million ton at present and demand for petro products, which is rising rapidly, will touch 600 million ton by the year 2040,” Dharmendra Pradhan said.
A top officer in the office of Auditor General, Cooperation Department, said that general and special audits have detected suspected financial embezzlement of around Rs 296 crore.
Import of pet coke has been growing and jumped from 3.3 million tonnes in 2012-13 to 14.4 million in 2016-17 when total national consumption hit 23.25 million due to relative high heat value and cheaper availability.
“We are planning to implement a system to stop imports and use home-produced pet coke for non-polluting sectors, such as cement production,” Dharmendra Pradhan said