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Oil PSUs to invest Rs 8,000 crore in capex in FY16: Pradhan

Public sector oil companies are aggressively looking at overseas assets, says Minister for Oil & Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan. Oil PSUs will invest Rs 8,000 crore in this fiscal on capital expenditure, he adds.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan, Pradhan says the ministry is looking to invest in infrastructure in oil and gas sector. New refineries, pipelines and LNG terminals are needed, he adds.

The Ministry is also looking to reduce dependence on hydrocarbon imports, consumption of which has risen by 11 percent in the country year-on-year.

Below is the transcript of Dharmendra Pradhan’s interview with CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan.

Q: What is your ministries plan as the Modi government enters its third year?

A: This year we have decided to prioritise this year as year of consumers. Consumer is the centre of our whole activity.

Q: What should we truly be expecting as far as overseas acquisitions are concerned?

A: Energy is a huge potential market among world investors and all are looking towards Indian market. Due to Prime Ministers strong leadership all the barriers have been broken. The kind of reception Prime Minister Modi got in gulf countries whether it is UAE, Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister is visiting Iran this week and he will be visiting Qatar very soon.

We are taking advantage of our relationship with Russia. OVL got a very good deal in some of their investment plans. Not only OVL some other PSUs are also eyeing towards Russia.

Q: Over the next 4-5 years Coal India’s capex is expected to be to the tune of USD 8-9 billion. What should we expect for somebody like ONGC given what you have just articulated for the energy vision?

A: Looking at our developmental aspiration, for a long period we have to depend on coal for our agricultural energy, for our rural energy. However, simultaneously India is moving towards renewable energy. 175 gigawatt position is not a small thing and we have started delivering on that front.

Simultaneously we want to convert towards gas based economy. So, for all these verticals for a long period we have to depend on coal for our lower segment of the society. However for industry, for higher verticals, for service industry we have to have market centric energy price.