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India looking to cut energy import dependence, diversify imports, says PM Modi


New Delhi, Feb 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday laid the foundation of key projects of the oil and gas sector in Tamil Nadu through video conferencing.

India looking to cut energy import dependence, diversify imports, says PM Modi

While addressing the event, Modi said,''In 2019-2020, India imported over 85% of oil & 53% of gas to meet domestic demand. I don't want to criticize anyone but I want to say, had we focused on these projects much earlier our middle class would not be burdened.''

''India is now increasing focus on ethanol to help farmers & consumers. We are furthering urges of solar power to become the leader in the sector & are encouraging public transport to make people's life productive & easy,'' he said.

India a more confident nation, can be seen on our border: PM Modi

On a day when petrol crossed the Rs 100 mark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the middle-class would not have been burdened if the previous governments had focussed on reducing India''s energy import dependence.

Without referring to the relentless increase in retail fuel prices, which are linked to international rates, he said India imported over 85 per cent of its oil needs in the 2019-20 financial year and nearly 53 per cent of its gas requirement.

"Can we be so import dependent? I don''t want to criticise anyone but I want to say (that) had we focussed on this subject earlier, our middle-class would not have been burdened," he said at a function to inaugurate oil and gas projects in poll-bound Tamil Nadu.

Price of petrol crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark in Rajasthan after fuel rates were hiked for the ninth day in a row. Since India imports majority of its oil needs, retail rates are benchmarked to international prices, which have spiralled in recent weeks.

Modi said his government is sensitive to concerns of the middle-class and so has focussed on raising share of ethanol mixing in petrol.

Modi inaugurated the Ennore Thiruvallur Madurai Tuticorin Ramanathapuram pipeline project through video conferencing.

The 143- kilometre of the Ennore Thiruvallur Bengaluru Puducherry Nagapattinam Madurai Tuticorin Natural Gas Pipeline has been laid at a cost of 700 crore rupees.

The project will help utilise gas from ONGC fields and deliver natural gas as feedstock to industries and other commercial customers.

Modialso inaugurated the Ramanathapuram -Tuticorin Natural Gas Pipeline and Gasoline Desulphurisation Unit at the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited Manali. He also laid the foundation stone of the Cauvery Basin Refinery at Nagapattinam. The unit will produce low sulphur environment friendly gasoline and help reduce emission contributing towards a cleaner environment.

The Cauvery Basin Refinery project estimated at a cost of 31 thousand five hundred crore rupees will be set up at Nagapattinam at a capacity of nine million tps. This joint venture between IOCL and CPCL will produce motor spirit and diesel with BS VI specifications and polypropylene as a value added product. These projects result in socio economic benefits and boost the Country's Urja atmanirbharta.

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