India needs to be energy independent to serve people's need: Modi

Mar 27, 2015, 15:44 IST | IANS

New Delhi: Stressing on energy security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India will have to be independent in this area and seek new avenues to replenish existing sources in a bid to serve the growing appetite of the people.

"We need to be independent when it comes to providing our people with energy," Modi said, while inaugurating the "Urja Sangam - 2015" conference on energy security at the Vigyan Bhavan conference complex here.

He also pitched for people who are well-off to surrender their fuel subsidy entitlement.

"People who don't need LPG subsidy and those who are capable of managing without it should give it up. I ask you to join this movement. Give up gas subsidy. Create a record. The subsidy that you will give up will go a long way in benefitting the poor people."

People are already giving up their subsidy, Modi said and added that "over 2.8 lakh consumers have surrendered LPG subsidy, resulting in a saving of Rs.100 crore to the exchequer".

He called for bringing down oil and gas imports to 67 percent by 2022, and lower it further to 50 percent by 2030.

"We will be celebrating 75th year of our independence in 2022. Today, we import 77 percent of our oil and gas. Can't we target to lower import at least by 10 percent by 2022 to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their life for our freedom," Modi said.

Twelve crore bank accounts opened under the Jan Dhan financial inclusion scheme are being used for transferring subsidies directly to the consumers, which has permitted plugging of leakages and effectively fighting corruption, he added.

"To fight corruption, if institutional mechanism, transparent mechanism, policy driven system can be put in place then we can prevent leakages. And this has been proved by cash transfer," the prime Minister said.

According to Modi, energy corridors need to be developed between India and Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia.

The international energy conference "Urja Sangam 2015: Shaping India's Energy Security" is being attended by cabinet ministers, policy makers, global chief executives (CEOs) of energy firms and academia.

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