ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NEW DELHI- Oil Crisis Evading the Basic Issue

NEW DELHI Oil Crisis: Evading the Basic Issue B M THE grimness of the oil crisis is slowly beginning to dawn on the government. The announcement of the further rise in crude prices to take effect from January 1, 1974 should dispel all illusions that the oil crisis facing the country is the outcome of the Arab- Israel war and that office a settlement is reached in the middle-east the situation will ease with regard to the availability of crude oil arid its price. In fact, availability of crude oil has never been very much in doubt and whatever scare had been created on this account has now been quietened by the decision of the Arab oil producers to step up production next month. What remains unaltered is the oil producers' determination to secure a fair price for their natural wealth which had been hitherto drained off by the developed countries at highly depressed prices. How low the price of crude oil had been kept is evident from the fact that, despite the very handsome profits of the international oil companies and the high excise duties on petroleum products, oil has been the preferred source of energy even in a country like India which has large coal reserves and has to import three-fourths of its oil requirements. If at last the oil producers have been able to get more equitable prices from the developed countries, this should be regarded as a wholly welcome development, even if It poses some problems for India and some of the other developing countries who are also consumers of oil.

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