Petrol at Rs 100: PM Modi says reducing import dependence
New Delhi: 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.
Ethanol extracted from sugarcane will help cut imports as well as give farmers alternate source of income.
India, he said, is looking to cut energy import dependence as well as diversify its sources to reduce risks.
The focus now is also towards using renewable sources of energy, which will by 2030 form 40 per cent of energy generated in the country, he said.
Also, the government is working towards raising the share of natural gas in the energy basket to 15 per cent from the current 6.3 per cent and is committed to bringing it under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime to eliminate cascading effect of multiple taxes, he added.
India’s startup founders should focus on creating institutions, not just valuations: PM
Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged India’s startup founders to think how to create institutions and not focus on valuations alone.
Addressing the Nasscom Technology and Leadership Forum here, Modi said that startups should not restrict themselves only to valuations on exit strategies. They should think of creating an institution that can outlive this century by creating world class products that will set the global benchmark of excellence.
The Prime Minister further said the large population of the country is the IT industry’s biggest strength as people are eager to adopt newer solutions.
IT industry’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts to develop lateral thinking in rural kids can prove to be a gamechanger for India, Modi noted.
The country is not short of ideas, he said, adding that it needs mentors to help turn ideas into reality.
The IT industry will have to develop solutions for societal good which leverage on the wide optical fiber cable (OFC) network we are laying across the country, Modi said.