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Gas price hike needed to woo FDI, says Moily

business Updated: Aug 06, 2013 02:43 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
M Veerappa Moily

The government needs to take bold decisions if it wants the Chevron’s and the Exxon’s of the world to come and invest in India’s energy sector, petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily has said.

In an exclusive interview to the HT, Moily said India was losing out to China, where most big global energy companies are present due to investor-friendly polices.

“In India, have you seen any big global energy companies... only one BP Plc has come, which, too, we are trying to drive away by opposing important decision like the recent gas price hike.”

Moily said it was time that India took investor-friendly decisions to achieve long-term economic gains.

“Do you know that China that is much ahead of India on the energy front took a decision to increase its gas prices to $9 a unit within a day of India announcing a revision of its gas price to $6.8 a unit?” he questioned.

The Chinese government has implemented the increased gas price with immediate effect while India will be implementing the new gas price after nine months. “The promptness of nations such as China is what is making them much more self reliant in energy than India.”

India spends $160 billion in a year on its oil imports, said Moily.

He added: “We need to produce more oil and gas...regions like North East are sailing on gas and it is not just the Krishna Godavari basin but there are other basins including Cauvery and Mahanadi that have good reserves of oil and gas. So our efforts should be to encourage investors to explore oil and gas from these potential sites.”

With correct emphasis on domestic oil and gas exploration, India can become 50% energy sufficient by 2020, 75% by 2025.