PM calls for Integrated Energy Policy

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New Delhi, Sep 20: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, chaired the meeting of the Planning Commission to discuss a draft Integrated Energy Policy document, Noting that the country was likely to continue to be increasingly import dependent for its needs of energy, Prime Minister on Saturday, Sep 20 called for evolving a comprehensive and integrated energy policy based on 'consistent application of economic principles' across different sectors relating to field.

In his address to the Full Planning Commission meeting called to discuss the draft Integrated Energy Policy, Dr Singh said the country's import dependence will ''make us vulnerable to uncertainity of international prices and also reliability of supplies.'' ''It is, therefore, important to undertake optimal exploitation of domestic energy resources, with a view to increasing our country's energy security. We also need to explore the the scope for acquiring energy assets abroad,'' he said.

The Prime Minister said energy pricing is a key component of energy policy, since appropriate energy prices must provide the incentives needed for investment in expanding supplies.

Dr Singh said currently, policies relating to individual energy sectors are set by a number of different ministries reflecting historical evolution. This, however, means the policies followed in different sectors are not always internally consistent.

The basis of discussions of the Full Panel meet is an Expert Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr Kirit Parikh, Member (Energy), Planning Commission. The group had submitted its report in August 2006.

The report had suggested a comprehensive energy policy for the country with many specific recommendations. Subsequently, at the Energy Coordination Committee, the Prime Minister had directed the Cabinet Secretary to discuss with the concerned Ministries the implementation of these recommendations.

The recommendations were comprehensively discussed and some progress has been achieved in implementing some of the by the concerned ministries. Action has also been initiated on other recommendations.

The report had come under the purview of the Full Plan Panel as full implementation had far reaching implications.

The Prime Minister noted the report's approach on Integrated Energy Policy has been reflected in the Eleventh Plan and added there was merit in adopting an Integrated approach that can guide policy in individual energy sectors in the years ahead.

Apart from the Full Planning Commission members, the meeting is being attended by Ministers responsible for the energy sectors.

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