Modi calls for slashing oil, gas imports by 10% in next 7 years
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants Indian energy companies to become multinationals and work towards establishing energy corridors such as India-West Asia, India-Central Asia, and India-South Asia, while establishing themselves in the gas markets of North America and Africa.
Inaugurating the energy conference ‘Urja Sangam – 2015’ here on Friday, he said, “I am seeing these days that energy diplomacy is a new area in global relations. It has become a requirement. The more our companies become multinational, I think, the more we can increase our reach and space in this sector,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said that India needs to bring down its import dependence on oil and gas to 67 per cent of its requirement by 2022.
“We currently import around 77 per cent in energy sector, in oil, gas and petroleum sector. We can reduce this import by at least 10 per cent by 2022. This 10 per cent we will produce ourselves and this should be our dream,” he said.
India will be celebrating its 75th year of independence in 2022 and lowering imports will be a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, Modi said.
“If we become successful in reducing import by 10 per cent in 2022, by achieving 10 per cent growth in domestic production, then I can assure you that by 2030 we can reduce this import to 50 per cent,” he added.
The Prime Minister launched a campaign called ‘give it up’ for citizens to give up subsidised LPG (domestic cooking gas) connection especially those who can afford to pay market price for LPG cylinder. He assured that each surrendered subsidised cylinder will go to poor people and the savings will be used for the poor.
He announced that as of now 2.80 lakh consumers have given up subsidised connection which resulted in savings of ₹100 crore. At present, there are around 15 crore LPG connections and the Centre spends over ₹40,000 crore as subsidy on LPG.
Defending direct benefit transfer of subsidy on LPG, Modi said, “To fight corruption, if an institutional mechanism, a transparent mechanism, a policy driven system can be put in place then we can prevent leakages. And this has been proved by cash transfer”.
Direct transfer (better known as PAHAL) was implemented across the nation from January 1.
He also said that deregulation of diesel prices, ethanol blended petrol to help sugarcane farmers, promotion of bio-diesel, and extension of the gas grid in eastern India, were some of the other major initiatives of the Government.
The Prime Minister said the Union Government aims to extend piped natural gas (PNG) to one crore houses over the next five years.