PM Attacks ‘Earlier’ Govts as Petrol Price Reaches ₹100 per Litre
Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed “earlier” governments for the recent price rises in petrol.
As the price of petrol crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark on Wednesday, 17 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that if the previous government had focused on reducing India’s dependence on energy imports then the middle class would not have been so burdened, reported PTI.
Fuel rates were hiked for the ninth day in a row in Rajasthan on Wednesday.
Without directly referring to the hike in retail fuel prices, which are affected by international rates, PM Modi said that India in the 2019- 20 financial year, imported 85 percent of its petrol and 53 percent of its gas requirements, according to PTI.
The international rates for natural gas have spiralled in recent weeks.
“Can a diverse and talented nation like ours be so energy import dependent?” he asked, addressing an online event to inaugurate oil and gas projects in poll-bound Tamil Nadu.
PM Modi said that the plan now is to focus on increasingly mixing ethanol in petrol, to reduce the country’s energy import dependency as well as give farmers an alternate source of income, as ethanol is extracted from sugarcane.
This will help with the move towards using renewable sources of energy, as India plans that 40 percent of all its energy produced here by 2030 will be clean, PM Modi said.
The focus in coming years will also be on capacity-building to further cut the energy imports.
“In 2019-20, we were fourth in the world in (oil) refining capacity. About 65.2 million tonnes of petroleum product have been exported. This number is expected to rise even further,” PM Modi said.
Congress and other opposition parties have criticised the state and central governments for not restoring the taxes to the pre-pandemic numbers now that the crude oil prices have increased in the international market.
(With inputs from PTI)
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