Reddy hints at continuity in oil ministry policy

Reddy hints at continuity in oil ministry policy

"This is not a new government. This is a new minister in an old government. When a new minister takes over, the policy does not change," Reddy told reporters soon after being named the new Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Asked about the difficulties being faced in the wake of rising crude oil prices, Reddy said he would not take any decision in haste and would consult others and go to the Cabinet whenever necessary.

Reddy, however, said rising crude prices could pose some difficulties.Reddy replaces Murli Deora who has been moved to the Corporate Affairs Ministry.

Earlier in the day, Deora said he has demanded from the Finance Ministry abolishment of customs duty on crude oil and a cut in excise duty on diesel to avoid more fuel price hikes that have become necessary because of spiralling global oil rates.

Deora said he on January 8 met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to seek an immediate release of Rs 10,000 crore in interim compensation to state oil companies.

Asked about how he proposes to share the burden of rising crude prices, Reddy said: "The burden has to be borne by everyone... but I'm not going to take any decision in haste. I'll consult people and will go to Cabinet wherever necessary. I cannot take immediate decisions."

Commenting on decisions taken by the ministry under his predecessor, Reddy said: "Deora's decisions were not individual decisions, but government decisions.
"Deora's policy will continue, but if necessary, a new policy will be evolved," he said.
"Governance is a continuous process... I'll try and understand this ministry," Reddy said.
Reddy, who apparently had been given an indication about the change, appeared well versed with the subject of his new ministry.

"The fundamentals are that in 24 hours, no miracle can happen. I'll do my best in the new assignment. I handled an important portfolio earlier and this is an equally important and sensitive ministry," he said.

"I thank UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for giving me this responsibility," Reddy said.

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