New Delhi: Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, participated in the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers’ virtual Meeting on 10th April 2020. The meeting was called by Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the G20 Presidency, and chaired by Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz. The meeting was attended by Energy Ministers of G20 countries, guest countries and heads of international organizations including OPEC, IEA and IEF.
The G20 Energy Ministers’ focused on ways and means to ensure stable energy markets, which are affected due to demand reduction as result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing surplus production -related matters.
During the meeting, Shri Pradhan reiterated Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call for G20 taking a human-centric approach for overcoming challenging hardships, especially for the vulnerable.
In this context, the Minister highlighted the decision of Hon’ble Prime Minister, under the aegis of the Ujjwala scheme, to provide 80.3 million poor families free LPG cylinders, as part of a 23 billion dollars relief package. He emphasized that India was, and will continue to be, the global energy demand centre. He also highlighted Government of India’s efforts to fill in our Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
In terms of the ongoing energy market fluctuations, the Minister stated that India has always advocated for a stable oil market, which is reasonable for producers and affordable for consumers. He appreciated the collective efforts of OPEC and OPEC-plus countries to balance the supply-side factors which is imperative for long-term sustainability. He has, however, urged that oil prices should be targeted to affordable levels to allow for a consumption-led demand recovery.
The G20 Energy Ministers’ meeting will be adopting a Joint Statement, which inter alia, proposes to establish a Task Force to advise the G20 Energy Ministers on the next steps, and agreed to remain engaged in the coming days.