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

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Blinkers on Oil Consumption

India is in danger of losing yet another opportunity to reduce its dependence on petroleum.

Exceptional times call for exceptional responses. That unfortunately has not been the response of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to the astronomical rise in global petroleum prices. Nor exactly has there been any illumination in the opposition parties’ criticism of the government. The only political party that has come up with something of note has been the Communist Party of India (Marxist) which has offered a couple of ideas, albeit only to deal with the immediate situation.

The global situation today resembles the crisis years of 1973 and 1980. Crude oil prices have doubled in the past year and the world seems bracing itself for prices to climb to $ 150 a barrel or even higher. India did need to respond to the immediate price movements, but it also needed to confront the increasingly petroleumintensive nature of its growth, the costs of which are being felt now and will be in the future as well. We did not take long-term measures in 1973 or 1980 and we appear to have turned away this time as well.

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