‘WE REMOVED 9 POLICY BOTTLENECKS TO HELP RAISE OIL & GAS PRODUCTION’
The focus on providing clean fuel to poor does not dilute the government's attention on other areas of industry, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. One of the Narendra Modi government's aims has been to change the oil ministry's public perception from being an economic to a social sector department. How much of this has been achieved?
I would like to rewind the PM'S first speech in the Central Hall (of Parliament) that made his government's priorities clear: Pro-poor, pro-women and pro-youth. It is not a question of merely changing public perception of one ministry . It is an issue of the direction taken by the government.
Where does Ujjwala scheme providing free LPG connections to poor fit into the makeover plans for the ministry? Given the opposition's claim about repackaging old schemes, is LPG the new tool for political outreach?
LPG service started in India in 1955. Till 2014, there were only 14 crore active LPG consumer families. In the last twoand-a half years, we have added four crore families. The government for the first time has taken responsibility up front to give LPG to five crore BPL families through Ujjwala. This is what we have already done.
The focus on LPG appears to have diluted the centre's attention to other areas of the domestic oil industry?
PM Modi has brought about a fundamental change in the oil sector by bringing transparency. Not a single decision taken by the ministry in the last two-and-a-half years has been questioned by the people. Earlier, the thrust would be on slashing subsidy. We reduced the boundary of subsidy by targeting it towards poor, not by cutting it. Based on experience and recommendations of CAG and PAC, we gave marketing and pricing freedom in new block auction policy, giving priority to competition. We removed nine policy bottlenecks to help raise domestic production. There is thrust on bringing gas-based economy. ‘Make in India’ is on priority to create more jobs.
HON'BLE PRIME MINISTER, NARENDRA MODI HANDING OVER LPG CONNECTION TO A BENEFICIARY FROM BPL FAMILY