New Delhi: Expressing concern over rising crude prices which have led to spiralling petrol and diesel prices in the country and raised political temperature, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that if the trend continues it would hit the purchasing power of the common man and affect the demand-supply chain of consuming nations like India and hurt global growth.
Warning oil producers like Saudi Arabia that high crude prices are impacting the international economy, the Prime Minister sought reasonable rates and a review of payment terms to provide a temporary relief to sliding rupee.
India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, has been over the past two months battered by high crude oil prices that have sent retail petrol, diesel and LPG rates to record high, posed inflationary risks and together with a sliding rupee threatened to upset its current account deficit. Also, unrelenting fuel price rise since mid-August has negated cut in taxes and subsidy announced by the Modi government recently.
Addressing CEOs of top international and Indian oil majors, Mr Modi did not mince words and sent out a message to key oil producing nations that lack of action on their part could have a negative impact on the Indian currency, which in turn would significantly affect consumption in India.
With Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid A Al-Falih and a UAE minister listening, Mr Modi at his third annual meeting with oil producers underscored how crude oil prices, at a four-year high, were hurting global growth.
“Though there is enough production, the unique features of marketing in the oil sector have pushed up the oil prices,” an official statement said quoting him. He asked why no new investments in oil and gas exploration and production are coming to India despite the government implementing all suggestions made by global oil majors at the previous such meeting, sources said. The meeting centred around boosting investment in upstream oil and gas production and how oil should be reasonably priced for both consumers and producers.
The meeting was attended by CEOs of companies like Saudi oil major ARAMCO, Russias Rosneft, BP, Tellurian and many others.
Mr Modi made a strong case for a partnership between producers and consumers in the oil market as it exists in other markets. “This will help stabilise the global economy which is on the path of recovery,” he said.