Manmohan hints at higher energy prices

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday said India needed more rational energy pricing policy and aligning its energy prices with that of global prices to achieve energy efficiency, apparently referring to rationalisation in prices of petroleum products.

“We need to promote energy efficiency to contain the growth of energy associated with rapid growth. Both goals of expanding new investment and achieving energy efficiency require a more rational pricing policy, aligning India’s energy prices with global prices. This cannot be done immediately, but we need to outline a phased programme,” he said in his New Year message to the nation.

While the government has de-regulated the price of petrol, prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas, are fixed by the Centre.

The prime minister also said that India’s per capita energy levels were very low and it needed substantial growth in energy production.

“Be it coal or hydro power, oil or nuclear power we find new challenges that have to be overcome to develop these resources to the fullest extent possible,’ he said.

Need investments

He said India needed new investment in established sources of energy such as coal, oil, gas, hydro electricity and nuclear power as also in new sources of energy, like solar and wind.

He also talked of policies that can promote economic partnership with countries that have energy resources and technologies.

“We also need a pro active foreign policy, protecting our access to such resources and to foreign technology,” the prime minister said.

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