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Help the nation, take the bus, Moily urges Indians

business Updated: Sep 25, 2013 00:34 IST
Veerappa Moily

As part of the government's fuel conservation push that could save the nation upto $5 billion (Rs 31,000 crore), petroleum minister Veerappa Moily has written to states and government departments to delare one day of the week as "public transport day", on which government employees would utilise only public transport for their commute.

Other measures that he has suggested for decongesting roads include car pools and staggering of office timings for government employees.

"We want people to take the bus," Moily said, appealing to citizens to "help our nation in reducing oil imports".

Car-pooling and no car days are widely prevalent in developed nations, as well as some Asian countries including China.

Battling a record current account deficit (CAD) brought on by a mounting oil import bill, Moily said that he was hopeful that these measures, together with a Rs 52-crore nationwide six-week mega campaign to propagate conservation of oil and gas, would help taper demand.

India spent $144.29 billion (Rs 8.9 lakh crore) in 2012-13 on oil imports - the single biggest item driving up imports and widening the CAD.

"I have written to minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions, asking him to consider 'staggered office timings' for government offices, which will help in decongesting road traffic during peak hours," he told a press conference here.

Moily also asked the urban development minister to introduce a "free cycle scheme" in select cities for saving fuel and offered funding support from oil sector companies.