Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged foreign oil companies to review their terms of payment to provide temporary relief to the rupee. At a meeting with experts and senior officials from the oil and gas sector in New Delhi on Monday, Modi asked them to channel their surplus into commercial exploitation in developing countries.
Ministers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as chief executive officers from the World Bank, the International Energy Agency and other companies participated in the meeting. Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Dharmendra Pradhan, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, and other senior officials were also present.
Highlighting India’s significant position in the sector, Modi said oil prices had risen because the market is producer-driven and both the quantity and prices are determined by the oil-producing countries. He sought a partnership between the producers and the consumers in the oil market on a par with cooperation in other sectors, according to a release from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Oil-consuming countries face multiple economic challenges, which include a severe resource crunch, said Modi. “The cooperation of the oil-producing countries would be very critical to bridge this gap,” he said. Oil-producing nations should channel their investible surplus to pursue commercial exploitation in the sector in developing countries, he added.
However, Saudi Oil Minister Khalid A Al-Falih said prices were not in their control. “Many factors lie outside the control of oil producers like us... we only control supply,” he told reporters, according to NDTV.
Modi’s meeting came even as fuel prices in the country continued to rise on Monday. On October 4, the Centre cut the rates of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.50. Several states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, which also governs at the Centre, followed suit.
Modi urged developed nations to cooperate in terms of technology and sought private participation in distribution in the gas sector.