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'Saudi keen to help India by supplying more oil'

Indian exports to Saudi Arabia like medicines, computers, textiles, cement and steel to also grow further.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 14:06 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Saudi Arabia is keen on helping India by supplying more oil to meet the nation's energy needs, according to MOH Farook, Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Speaking to reporters at Karaikal near Porayar, he said that Saudi crude accounts for 24 per cent of India's total imports. "Saudi Arabia accounts for almost a quarter of India's total imports of crude oil of 1.9 million barrels per day. The Saudi government is willing to supply more oil to India recognising the growing demand in the country', he said.

Farook said that soon after taking charge one and a half years back, he had appealed to Saudi authorities on the need for increased oil supply to India.

Stating that the two nations have a very cordial relationship, he said more than 15 lakh Indians were presently working in that country and that the Saudi Arabian government had extended them various facilities.

'Through the Indians in Saudi Arabia, we are receiving foreign exchange of over 4.5 lakh million dollars per annum. Hence their welfare is important to our economy', he said.

Referring to Haj pilgrims from India, numbering over 1.5 lakh, who visit Saudi Arabia each year, he said the Centre was spending nearly Rs 350 crore for them by way of subsides for them, the highest by any country in the world. "For the welfare of these pilgrims, the Indian government has taken steps to open an office of the Indian embassy in Dasam," he said.

Referring to exports, he said medicines, computers, textiles, cement and steel were being exported from India on a large scale and hoped it would grow further, giving a boost to the Indian economy.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 14:06 IST