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A huge investment of USD 25 billion in the oil and gas sector is on the anvil, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday. Expressing great optimism about the investment prospects in the sector, Pradhan told reporters that there will soon be “investment worth 25 billion dollars in the petroleum sector in which oil and gas exploration companies like Cairn India will play a big role”.
Replying to a question on volatile oil prices globally he said that companies reposition themselves in accordance with fluctuating crude oil prices in the international market. “I don’t think fluctuating crude oil prices should lead to a sense of despair among oil companies as they know how to reposition and re-adjust themselves to these fluctuations in the international market.”
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Claiming that the Centre’s oil policy has strengthened the economy, he said oil prices may have been hiked more often in recent past but then at the same time the government has also pumped in 50 per cent of the profits earned from the oil sector into unique schemes like the Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana for the welfare and empowerment of women.
Since the launch of the scheme in May this year more than 90 lakh LPG connections have been distributed among beneficiaries of the scheme all over the country and to over 50,000 women in Uttarakhand alone which is quite an achievement, he said. “Our target is to ensure that in the coming two years not a single family remains without an LPG connection,” he said.
Pradhan, who is also the BJP’s election incharge for Uttarakhand along with J P Nadda, said an atmosphere for a big political change was building up in the state where BJP will form the next government. He evaded a direct reply when asked whether the party will not project a chief ministerial candidate this time.
“This is a prerogative of the party’s parliamentary board which will take a call on the issue at the right time.” Pradhan also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for deciding to celebrate the this year’s Dipawali at Mana village on India-China border in Chamoli district saying this will boost the morale of the forces.
“PM’s proposed visit to Mana is in keeping with his appeal to the entire country to dedicate this year’s Dipawali to the armed forces. He is a different prime minister. He had gone to Jammu and Kashmir last year to celebrate Dipavali. I am sure a gesture like this from the Prime Minister himself will boost the morale of our forces.