Singh Stresses Rationality for Energy Pricing

    January 17, 2005

India Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has stressed the importance of rationality when dealing with energy pricing.

The Prime Minister said that rational approach to energy pricing is integral to any strategy aimed at improving efficiency of energy use and reducing the adverse environmental impact of excessive energy consumption.

He inaugurated the 6th Petrotech Conference and exhorted the oil PSUs to think big and think creatively. He also said that the possibilities restructuring of these PSUs are being explored to make them truly globally competitive. The Prime Minister also called upon the Science and technology community to expand the frontiers of energy science and generate new sources of energy.

Following are a few things the Prime Minister had to say:

“Hydrocarbons continue to remain the most important source of energy, even though science has enabled power sources to be tapped. While we must continue to invest in the exploration and harnessing of power sources of energy, we must recognize the fact that we will remain greatly dependent on hydrocarbons in the foreseeable future. Hence, investing in more efficient and equitable utilisation of hydrocarbons and developing new technologies in this field ought to be important objectives of our policy.

There are two simultaneous transitions underway in our country. One is the evolution of users from traditional, non-market forms of energy to commercial forms of energy. The other is the transition from low energy consumption to high energy consumption in the processes of diversification of our economy in particular rapid industrialisation of our economy. The challenge for policymakers in our country is to be able to deal with these twin transitions.

While conventional, renewable energy sources like fuel-wood, dung cake, agricultural waste and even non-conventional sources like wind and solar energy will have enormous value for millions of users, the demand for commercial sources of energy is bound to increase. If we have to improve the quality of life for the underprivileged, it would, among other things, entail an increase in the per-capita consumption of commercial energy. And as incomes increase and urbanisation spreads there will be a further increase in per capita energy consumption. The challenge for policy makers is to provide for this increase in demand while at the same time ensuring that it is economically and ecologically sustainable.”

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