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Crude production to rise by 2 mn tonnes: minister

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 2, 2006

Crude production to rise by 2 mn tonnes: minister

By Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) India’s crude oil production is likely to rise by 2.0-2.5 million tonnes in the current year after stagnating at 30 million tonnes for the last three to four years, parliament was informed Tuesday.

‘In the past three to four years, indigenous production has not gone up. ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) has been producing 26 million tonnes and the private players 4.0-4.5 million tonnes. This year, production is likely to go up by 2.0-2.5 million tonnes,’ Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said during the question hour in the Rajya Sabha.

The minister, however, dodged a supplementary on what percentage of ONGC investments were being made at home and abroad, saying: ‘Whatever ONGC Videsh has invested abroad has given good results.’

This prompted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi to retort: ‘Sir, the minister will be forced to give a reply under RTI (Right to Information Act) but he is not replying now.’

India imports 75 percent of its crude requirements, while ONGC produces 22 percent and the private oil companies the remaining three percent.

Responding to a series of supplementaries, the minister admitted that rising global crude prices actually benefited the government as they increased its revenues.

‘Because of the system of ad valorem duties, the government’s revenues actually go up. In 2005-06, these were Rs.125,000 lakhs (Rs.125 billion). If this is the case, why doesn’t the government reduce prices,’ asked Brinda Karat of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

M. Venkaiah Naidu of BJP pleaded for a short duration discussion on the issue.

‘Please give notice for this,’ said Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

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