New Delhi: Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily Tuesday promised quicker decision making and upholding sanctity of signed contracts as he set a target of cutting India's import dependency to 50 percent by 2017-18.
"We are here to take decisions. If we shirk decisions, we become vulnerable," he said addressing CII's National Council meeting here.
Decisions making will be expedited and outstanding issues will be resolved, he said.
BP India Head Sashi Mukundan at the meeting raised the issue of "sanctity of contracts being challenged" by way of changes in tax laws, snatching of gas pricing and marketing freedom and CAG interventions in cost recovery.
"Decision making has changed. Decision making (earlier) was to encourage more (exploration and production) activities. Now, it is more of issues of contract administration," he said.
Mukundan also sought clarity on pricing of natural gas to help BP and its partner Reliance Industries take decision on developing about 5 trillion cubic feet of discovered reserves.
Moily said his aim was to build synergy between experts and administration rather than confrontation.
"Sanctity of contracts has to be upheld," he said. "CAG is an auditor. It will do its job. We will do our job. As administrative ministry, we have to performance... Convince them (CAG) and clear doubts raised by them," he said.
He said hydrocarbons will continue to be predominant in India's energy mix for some time to come.
"Therefore, we need to put in pace a conducive policy framework to increase investor confidence and facilitate investments in this segment. The government and oil companies are also taking measures to increase domestic production and accelerate the acquisition of hydrocarbon assets overseas," he said.
India currently imports 79 percent of its oil need which needs to be cut to 50 percent in next 5-6 years. "I am confident we can reduce import dependence to 50 percent by 2017-18," he said.
The country is currently importing nearly 80 percent of its crude oil requirements. This may increase to 90 percent by 2030 and will impact the growth of the country. Reducing the import bill is imperative and will have a huge multiplier impact on the economy," he said.
Moily emphasised on the need to diversify into new and unconventional energy sources like coal bed methane and shale gas.