New Delhi: The CPI-M on Tuesday took strong exception to the government`s decision to cut crude oil import from Iran by over 11 per cent this fiscal alleging that it was succumbing to US pressure and demanded a reply from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, Prashanta Chatterjee (CPI-M) said, "Steps are being taken to cut down Iranian oil import. India is succumbing to US pressure ... I demand a statement from the Prime Minister."
The Prime Minister was present in the House when the issue was raised.
Chatterjee recalled that the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had during her visit to India a few days back exerted pressure on India to reduce its oil import from Iran.
He said while the government has been officially maintaining that the import of oil of Iran is crucial for the country, it has gone down in last few years.
Giving figures he said that it was 21.8 million tonne in 2008-09, 18.5 tonne in 2010-11 and 17.44 million tonne in 2011-12.
India has decided to cut crude oil import from Iran by over 11 per cent this fiscal to 15.5 million tonne for this financial year.
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) associated himself with Chatterjee.