Energy in India under-priced, says PM

Kochi, Jan 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said energy prices in the country are much below international prices and must be brought in line with them by curbing subsidies to achieve the goal of rapid and inclusive development.

"Energy remains under-priced in our country, with coal, petroleum products and natural gas prices well below international prices. To meet our target of rapid, inclusive and sustainable development, we must undertake a phased rationalization of energy prices to bring them in line with global prices," said the prime minister after laying the foundation stone of BPCL's Integrated Refinery Expansion Project here.

"The central and the state governments must work together to create awareness in the public on the need for curbing energy subsidies," he added.

The prime minister noted that to achieve the target of rapid growth, India needs adequate supplies of energy at affordable prices.

"Oil and gas will continue to meet a very large part of our energy requirements for many years to come. As you all know we remain dependent on imports for meeting a major portion of our crude oil requirements.

"It is for this reason that we will require large scale investments in the field of exploration for oil and gas within the country, acquisition of oil and gas producing assets overseas and strengthening of the marketing and distribution infrastructure in our country," he added.

The prime minister is here to inaugurate the 11th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Tuesday.

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