Wednesday, September 25, 2013

India: Indian Oil Minister unveils mega fuel conservation drive to cut import bill

Source: IRNA

New Delhi, Sept 24, IRNA -- Staggered office timings for government employees to decongest traffic and staffers taking public transport to workplace once a week are part of a mega fuel conservation drive unveiled by India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily today to save USD 5 billion in oil imports.

Battling a record current account deficit (CAD) that is a result of mounting oil import bill, Moily is hoping these measures together with a Rs 52 crore nationwide six week mega campaign to propagate conservation of oil and gas will help taper demand, thereby cutting oil import bill by USD 5 billion.

India spent USD 144.29 billion last fiscal year on importing its oil needs, which is the single biggest item impacting the CAD.

I have written to Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, asking him to consider staggered office timings for Government offices, which will help in decongesting road traffic during peak hours, he told a press conference here.

He also asked Chief Ministers, central ministries and PSU heads to declare one day of the week as bus day during which staffers be encouraged to utilise only public transport for their daily commute.

While there is no evidence of his Ministrys fortnightly fuel conservation drive every year actually denting demand, Moily did not say his Ministry and PSUs under it would lead by example and declare Bus Day.

Every year the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (under Oil Ministry) does an awareness campaign for a fortnight at a cost of Rs 20 crore. This year we will do a mega campaign at more than double the cost, he said.

He also asked Urban Development Minister to introduce Free Cycle Scheme in select cities for saving fuel and offered funding support from oil sector companies.