Print
XClose
Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
03-November-2010 18:39 IST
Finance Minister’s Valedictory Address at Petrotech International Oil & Gas Conference

Fm Emphasizes Need for Structural Reforms in the Energy Industry
Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the valedictory session of ‘Petrotech-2010’, here today. Under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas the ‘9th Petrotech International Oil & Gas Conference’ was held at New Delhi from 1st November to 3rd November, 2010. The conference was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh on 1st November 2010.

The theme for ‘Petrotech–2010’ was ‘Global Energy Equilibrium’, with five technical sub-themes i.e., i) Exigent Hydrocarbon, ii) Greening the Hydrocarbon Value Chain, iii) Managing Uncertainty in the Hydrocarbon Business, iv) Energy Next and v) Non–Conventional Hydrocarbon. It aims at sharing of knowledge and expertise within the global oil industry.

In his address, Shri Mukherjee emphasised the need for structural reforms in the energy industry to utilize the fiscal incentives being provided by the government to attract investments. The Minister stated that an analysis of various statistical trends in the economy suggests that the nation’s medium and long-term prognosis is excellent and we can achieve double-digit GDP growth by effecting some important structural policy measures.

Complimenting Petrotech for adopting sustainability as the key theme for this international Conference, Shri Mukherjee said that this is in line with the approach of government of India which have adopted an inclusive approach to development, where environment and other such sustainability concerns have always dominated the policy framework. The Finance Minister exhorted the participants to take the discussions meaningfully forward to advance cooperation to achieve sustainable and affordable supplies of energy, vital for economic development.

The text of Finance Minister’s speech is as follows:

“I am happy to be here in the valedictory function of the just-concluded Petrotech-2010. Petrotech is now well-established after the series of eight successful events organized since 1995, and has secured a reputation in international circles as one of the most respected fora in the global hydrocarbon industry. This conference is special, as this is the first Petrotech with a strong focus on sustainable issues like Corporate Social Responsibility and Carbon-neutrality.

Each Petrotech, in the last 15 years, has explored various themes, relevant to the times, but it has consistently championed the cause of cleaner, greener and sustainable energy. The Theme of this Petrotech-2010 is ‘Global Energy Equilibrium’. We could not have thought of a more apt theme than this today, when the demand-supply skew in energy production and distribution is one of the biggest factors in sustaining developmental needs of a number of growing economies across the world.

I would like to compliment Petrotech for adopting sustainability as the key theme for this international Conference and Exhibition. This is in line with the approach of government of India which have adopted an inclusive approach to development, where environment and other such sustainability concerns have always dominated the policy framework.

My special compliments go to the organizers viz. ONGC, who have organized a mega event like this as the first carbon–neutral event in the country, with the minimum of paperwork, and with the maximum possible use of web-based activities. I understand that ONGC is the only central PSU in India with over half a dozen Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Projects registered with the United Nations Climate body. It is an example for all Oil companies that a business enterprise in an environment-sensitive industry like Oil, can also demonstrate exemplary environment-friendliness. The community-development focus and the various events of the Conference like Walkathon, Student-engagement efforts through interesting competitions, is a praiseworthy idea, and needs to be emulated by other global events of this stature.

Recent history shows us that the Geo-politics of Oil and Gas is quite complicated. The Theme ‘Global Energy Equilibrium’ is easier stated than achieved, as it is quite natural that nations would place their individual developmental agenda ahead of collective global needs. Notwithstanding the inherent challenges in achieving a trade-off in this vital issue, there are various areas where possible cooperation will resolve a number of bottlenecks in energy business across nations. If this Petrotech-2010 can achieve even a part of the possibilities in this regard, it may translate into huge savings, which can light up lives in a number of energy-starved developing nations.

The future lays tremendous responsibility on leaders, especially in the corporate arena, to utilize the emerging opportunities and move towards an energy-rich world tomorrow. The opportunity costs of ‘missing the bus’ may be huge. While the government is adopting a number of fiscal incentives to attract investments, including in the vital energy sector, there are structural reforms required in the energy industry, to utilize those incentives.

While the world economy is yet to come out of the clutches of the global recession, it is credible that India has come out of the slowdown faster than many experts predicted in April 2009; and an analysis of various statistical trends in the economy suggests that the nation’s medium- and long-term prognosis is excellent. If we can put into effect some important structural policy measures, there is no reason why India cannot achieve double-digit gross domestic product (GDP) growth. However, the contribution of the energy sector is vital for achieving this economic growth.

I am sure the participants had an excellent opportunity to brainstorm on emerging issues relating to energy in this appropriate platform for all the stakeholders of energy industry to advance cooperation to achieve sustainable and affordable supplies of energy, vital for economic development.

Sector-specific policy options, especially those pertaining to energy concerns and demand-supply mismatch, should be the focus of all bilateral and multilateral discussions, many of which have been concluded in this forum. The participants should take all such discussions meaningfully forward for strengthening the ties forged during the four days of active deliberations in Petortech-2010.

I, on behalf of the government of India, wish events like Petrotech-2010 all success. These events will help stakeholders in the energy business to carry forward the agenda for sustainable future of an energized global community.”

BY