Modi wants India's energy imports cut by 10 %

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a call for cutting down India’s energy import by 10 per cent in the next eight years and also appealed to “well-to-do” people to voluntarily give up cooking subsidy, so that its benefits could be shared with the poor.

India’s energy imports are 77 per cent of its total consumption. The effort should be to reduce it by 10 per cent by 2022, when India celebrates 75 years of Independence, the prime minister said speaking at the global energy summit ‘Urja Sangam’ here.

“We can reduce this import by at least 10 per cent in 2022. This 10 per cent we will produce ourselves and this should be our dream. If we become successful in reducing import by 10 per cent in 2022…  then I can assure you that by 2030 we can reduce this import to 50 per cent,” he said.

India’s crude imports have been a major drain on its exchequer. There was a temporary relief after crude became cheaper in the past few months but the country is again staring at a crisis after Saudi Arabia’s decision to attack Yemen which could flare geopolitical crisis in the region.

On cooking gas subsidy putting pressure on the exchequer, the prime minister said about 2.8 lakh people from across the country had already given up the LPG subsidy. He said this was an important contribution for the service of the poor.

“I had made a small mention about giving up LPG subsidy. As many as 2.80 lakh people have responded positively...and this will lead to a saving of at least Rs 100 crore. This Rs 100 crore can be utilised for the welfare of the poor,” Modi said.

The prime minister said the energy sector reforms in the past 10 months were motivated by the quest for greater energy security. He said transfer of LPG subsidy directly into bank accounts had resulted in elimination of leakages, and curbing of corruption.

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