As petrol prices scales new high, Govt to ‘reduce’ import dependency for oil energy
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As petrol prices scales new high, Govt to ‘reduce’ import dependency for oil energy

New Delhi, Sep 1: Even as the government has come under attack following petrol and diesel prices scaling a new record high in four metros across the country, official sources say plans are afoot to 'reduce' dependency on import in energy by about 10 per cent in next few years.

"There is a roadmap to achieve the target to reduce the dependency on import in energy from oil and gas by 10 per cent in next few years the fiscal 2021-22," an informed source said here on Saturday.

The roadmap to achieve this envisages a multi-pronged strategy spanning across different sectors.

According to sources in the ruling BJP, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has flagged off major policy decisions and initiatives such as resource re-assessment, Open Acreage Licensing Policy, Hydrocarbon Exploration and tapping "unconventional source" such as Coal Bed Methane and Shale Gas.

There are also plans to resort to increased use of PNG and LPG and enhanced production of diesel. The NDA regime has yet again come under attack as the prices of both petrol and diesel were raised. The petrol price shot up to Rs 78.68 per litre in Delhi while in Mumbai, petrol is retailing at Rs 86.09 per litre.

Petrol is priced at Rs. 81.60 per litre in Kolkata and in Chennai it is Rs 81.75. BJP sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi way back in 2015 at the Urja Sangam had called for reduction in import dependence on crude oil by 10 per cent.

In fact, sources said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas headed by BJP MP Pralhad Joshi in its report tabled in Parliament had said that the target set by Prime Minister is 'achieve-able' by 2022 and if right efforts are made - "can even surpass the percentage of import dependence by the targeted date".

The panel also has urged the Ministry to take necessary steps to 'aggressively explore' the energy sources. The government is also working to ensure an effective coordination mechanism among different ministries and adopt clear strategy with plans and 'stipulated timelines' to achieve the target of reduction in import dependence.

The government has set up an Integrated Monitoring and Advisory Council also and it is headed by Minister of Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan as the chairman. Meanwhile, on the spiralling prices, Mr Pradhan has said the government is taking all measures. But he has also blamed the "isolated" policies of the US for the abnormally rising fuel prices in the international market. (UNI)