Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ruled out the possibility of a reduction in prices of petrol and diesel in the near future. “Indian oil companies have to bear a very heavy burden and there are limits to subsidising. When we see that the Indian oil companies are able to sustain a reduction we would take that decision,” Singh said.
If global crude prices keep going down, the possibility of a price reduction can be explored, he said.
The PM said that besides cooking gas and kerosene, the government had even kept down diesel prices. “But there are limits to subsidising,” he said.
Singh said Qatar was very keen to expand cooperation with India. “The modalities for Qatar investing about $5 billion in India were discussed. In the next two to three months we will discuss the modalities and identify projects in the areas of energy, power, fertiliser to enable the government of Qatar to take a decision where these funds can be directed,” he said.
Singh said the government of Qatar has also agreed to consider selling more LNG (liquefied natural gas) to India in the next couple of years. India currently buys 5 million tonnes of LNG a year from Qatar and an additional 2.5 million tonnes will be made available by last quarter of 2009.