Crude exports will harm national interests: Centre

The Centre reiterated that it will not allow crude exports till India attains ‘self-sufficiency.’

The Dollar Business Bureau

Keeping in view the fact that 85% of crude oil is imported in India, the Centre expressed to the Delhi High Court that crude exports from the country cannot be allowed as it would harm the country’s interests.

While opposing UK-based Vedanta group’s Cairn India’s plea seeking permit to export excess crude from its Rajasthan oil fields, the government reiterated that it would not allow crude exports till the country attains ‘self-sufficiency.’

The Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, said that the decision was a part of the policies formed by the government.

Mehta further stated that the natural resources are not just vested in the hands of the Government of India, but also are meant to be used for the GoI. Cairn India can generate profits by selling crude in India itself, said Mehta.

The counsel, appearing for Cairn India, stated that the company was ready to trade crude within the country only if they get the standard prices.

However, the court asked the ASG to show that the government will have gains from the move or there was the aspect of public interest.

Responding to the query, ASG stated that Indian refineries mostly rely on import of crudes and Cairn India has no buyers accept Reliance or Essar.

Countering the statements of ASG, the counsel stated that the rates in domestic market are less than the international market.

While blaming the centre for not allowing to export, and seeing the lukewarm response from PSUs, the counsel said that the company will have to trade with private players at lesser rate.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned the matter for next hearing on July 8.

The Dollar Business Bureau - May 20, 2016 12:00 IST