India daily consumes 4.5 million barrels of crude oil (1 barrel is about 159 litres), the third highest in the world after the US and China. With only very limited domestic oil reserves, India meets over 80% of its oil needs through imports. The prices of petrol and diesel in India have risen to their highest level since late 2013, mainly due to rising crude price and a depreciating rupee. This is an alarming situation for both the consumers and the vehicle manufacturers as fuel cost is one of the determinants of vehicle purchase.
In 2013, when the price of petrol reached its peak of Rs 76.06/ltr, it altered the vehicle buying pattern in India. The domestic price of petrol and diesel will depend on the price of crude oil in the international market and the policy preferences of the government as it heads to the general election in 2019. The present crude price rise is blamed on rising geopolitical tensions where prices are headed to next is anybody’s guess.
A major part of the retail price of petrol and diesel is taxes, both Central and State. The Centre can soften the impact of spiralling fuel prices by reducing the excise duty. Soaring fuel price affects the entire economy and triggers inflation. It is very appropriate and timely for the government to step in to arrest the sky-rocketing fuel price.
The current edition of AutoComponentsIndia is our annual aerospace industry special, where we highlight the importance of the industry, especially for India. The Indian private sector aerospace industry is still at a nascent stage as it has been dominated by the public sector. The private sector, acting in association with the PSUs and multinational companies, is supplying directly and indirectly to the OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers. From this advantageous ground, the Indian aerospace industry is ready for a lift-off. It is once again on the global radar, though for a different reason, for aircraft or spacecraft spares.
Many people asked us, why aerospace in the AutoComponentsIndia magazine? The answer is quite simple as most of the auto component manufacturers are diversifying into aerospace components and exporting them across the globe. Wherever there is an auto hub, the government is promoting an aerospace park to work on synergies. In the coming years, we expect more such synergies as we see a clear sky.