PM Modi says status of energy sector in India highly uneven

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while chairing a high-profile meeting with top CEO’s of international and domestic oil and gas companies today said the status of energy sector in the country is highly uneven and welcomed suggestions made for a comprehensive energy policy.

In a meeting coordinated by the NITI Aayog, Modi interacted with top CEOs and officials from Rosneft, BP, Reliance, Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Vedanta, Wood MacKenzie, IHS Markit, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Xcoal, ONGC, IndianOil, GAIL, Petronet LNG, Oil India, HPCL, Delonex Energy, NIPFP, International Gas Union, World Bank, and International Energy Agency.

During the meeting, Modi stressed on the need to develop energy infrastructure and access to energy in Eastern India. He flagged the potential of bio-mass energy and also invited participation and joint ventures in coal gasification.

The Prime Minister thanked the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Rosneft, for their commitments and support to the energy sector in India. He appreciated the 2030 vision document of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Modi welcomed all possibilities for innovation and research in the oil and gas sector and indicated that India is moving towards a cleaner and more fuel-efficient economy the benefits of which should reach all the sections of the society, especially the poorest.

The meeting was also attended by Oil and Skill Development minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Power and Renewable energy minister R K Singh along will senior officials from NITI Aayog, PMO, Oil ministry and Finance Ministry.

In their brief opening remarks, Pradhan and Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman at NITI Aayog, gave an overview of the work done in this sector. They also emphasized the expected growth in energy demand in India and the significant progress made in electrification and LPG expansion.

In a short presentation, CEO, NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant outlined the recent developments and challenges in the oil and gas sector in India.
Various participants appreciated the progress and reforms made in India in the last three years, a release issued by PMO said. Participants appreciated the pace and drive with which PM Modi has brought about reform in the energy sector.

Subjects such as the need for a unified energy policy, contract frameworks and arrangements, requirement of seismic data sets, encouragement for biofuels, improving gas supply, setting up of a gas hub, and regulatory issues came up for discussion.

Many participants strongly recommended the inclusion of gas and electricity in the GST framework. Also, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia highlighted the recent decisions of the GST Council regarding the oil and gas sector.

Thanking the participants for sharing their views, the PM said that many suggestions received in the last meeting in 2016 have helped policy making. He also said that scope for reform in many areas still exists. The PM appreciated the focussed suggestions made by the participants.

The Prime Minister thanked all participants for sharing holistic suggestions keeping in mind India’s unique potential and requirements in the oil and gas sector, instead of merely confining themselves to the concerns of their respective organisations.

The Prime Minister observed that the suggestions made today covered policy, administrative as well as regulatory issues.

Warmly recalling his visit to Saudi Arabia, he said many progressive decisions are being taken there in the energy sector. He looked forward to various opportunities for cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia in the near future.

This is the second meeting Prime Minister had with CEOs of oil majors. His first meeting was held in January 2016 where suggestions for reforming natural gas prices were made. More than a year later, the government allowed higher natural gas price for yet-to-be-produced fields in difficult areas like deep sea.

Source- ET Energyworld