While the upcoming assembly elections ensured no sharp hike in the fuel prices again, it saw the ministry doubling up the budget for fuel conservation campaign to Rs 50 crore. Moreover, Moily has announced in the media that he will take help of cricketer Virat Kohli and badminton diva Saina Nehwal for the project campaign.
Three weeks ago,oil minister Veerappa Moily’s fuel conservation plans had fuelled a massive row. He had sent the prime minister a detailed action plan to cut India’s oil import bill by $19-20 billion by raising fuel prices sharply and adopting fuel conservation measures.
While the upcoming assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram ensured no sharp hike in the fuel prices again, it saw the ministry doubling up the budget for fuel conservation campaign to Rs 50 crore.
The “mega fuel conservation campaign” worth Rs 50 crore includes encouraging use of bicycle, training of 300,000 bus drivers of state road transport corporation and providing fuel saving tips to car owners and housewives.
Moreover, Moily has announced in the media that he will take help of cricketer Virat Kohli and badminton diva Saina Nehwal for the project campaign.
The government is concerned about rising fuel subsidy bill, which is expected to cross Rs 180,000 crore in the current financial year unless urgent steps are taken to raise prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas and contain demand. The oil ministry is sure that 10-15% petrol and diesel can be saved through direct connect with the consumer.
Other measures include asking state-owned oil firms to keep crude imports at 2012-13 level of 105.96 million tonnes that will save USD 1.76 billion in foreign exchange.
As reported in media, Moily also said India has a “serious engagement” with sanctions-hit Iran over oil imports. Moily has said he could save $8.5 billion in foreign exchange outflows by raising imports of Iranian crude, which India pays for partly in rupees.
The campaign is also expected to tap farmers through e-Choupal and Hariyali Bazar according to the media reports.
Although his idea of roping in two youth icons may gain his campaign some attention, the thought of saving in by letting your own vehicle go is not that catchy. If the state of public transport in the metropolitans is not that good, you may well think of the situation in small cities and towns.
The idea of pushing the public to green measures rather than doing something concrete is naive. The idea of using green ways to travel has not seeped much into the society’s mind.
Also, using bicycle in small towns may be a reality, but we all know what has happened to the bike lanes in the national capital itself.
In all, the oil minister needs to come up with a more concrete idea for fuel conservation. Afterall, what for Rs 50 crore are?