India can be economic power, says new oil minister

India can become an economic power if it becomes self sufficient in energy, said Dharmendra Pradhan who took charge Tuesday of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

IANS| Updated: May 27, 2014, 14:19 PM IST

New Delhi: India can become an economic power if it becomes self sufficient in energy, said Dharmendra Pradhan who took charge Tuesday of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

Pradhan, a minister of state with independent charge, did not indicate any immediate announcement on the pending issue of notification of new prices for domestically produced natural gas.

"I will now be speaking to our officials to understand the issues and challenges before the ministry," Pradhan told reporters here.

The union cabinet headed by former prime minister Manmohan Singh had approved the new price for natural gas, which has not been notified due to the Lok Sabha elections.

In 2007, the government fixed the price for supply of gas from Krishna-Godavari Basin (KG-D6) at $4.205 per mmbtu for the initial five years of production. The output started in April 2009, and thus the pricing formula expired in March 2014.

A panel headed by chairman of the Prime Minister`s Economic Advisory Council C. Rangarajan has recommended a new formula under which the price is likely to be almost doubled at $8.3 per unit.

On the other major challenge of stepping up the country`s oil and gas production, Pradhan said: "India has lots of capacity and can become an economic power if it becomes self sufficient in energy."

Pradhan is a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar. He was also the BJP in-charge of party affairs in Bihar.