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How to meet our energy demands?
July, 16th 2008

I would like to refer my article appeared in Eagle eye in CC 25th.July 2007 for `Jatropha- meeting energy demand' (for commercial consumption of bio-diesel.). It was suggested that 60 million hectare wasteland of India which has a burden of maintenance cost today, can easily be used for cultivation of Jatropha curcus which may yield 60 million tones bio-diesel. In this way we will economize Petroleum import of Rs 10 billion per annum, but this programme will create 120 million jobs. I would like to inform readers here that Global energy crisis looms large, with crude oil prices hovering over the $111.80-per-barrel mark, which it hit on March 17. It later fell to $105.11. With international crude oil prices shooting through the roof, the basket of crude oil that Indian refiners buy too recorded a record high of $101.2 per barrel. On the backdrop of a global meltdown, the rise of oil prices is a cause for concern. The spiraling oil prices will derail a booming economy if not checked. So why are oil prices soaring like crazy? Will there be some respite in the near future? The answers are shifting to non-conventional energy use.

The fall in the dollar rates is just one of the factors that has led to this astronomical rise in oil prices. A weaker American currency tends to increase the demand for dollar-denominated oil as it becomes cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies. Oil prices are also heading higher because investors are seeking a safe investment for their cash amid fears of rising inflation and a US recession, analysts said. Political tension in Kenya, Algeria and Pakistan as well as the threat of US sanctions against Iran earlier this year also aggravated the situation. Threats to oil facilities in Nigeria--the world's eighth largest oil exporter--have also been responsible for the oil price hike. The attacks from rebels in the Niger delta, demanding more control over oil reserves led to shutting of many oil facilities in 2007. Militant attacks in Nigeria's main oil city, Port Harcourt also hit supplies. Nigeria is also likely to witness more violence as peace talks between the government and rebels have failed. Today's rate of $135 for a barrel of oil equals about approx Rs. 34/- per litre (1 barrel = 159 litres) To this you must add landing costs, refining costs, distribution costs, of course some profitability to the oil cost which should make petrol cost what it is costing today.

But the added burden of whopping 50% various taxes in form of customs duties, excise, sales tax and other commissions is the hidden cost of petroleum products. Today thanks to the booming economy govt is collecting huge amounts in taxes from all avenues be it income tax, VAT, various other indirect taxes and cesses. So why is the FM stubborn to abolish duties and taxes from oil? Also please note we are domestically producing 25% crude of total consumption yet we are paying high taxes on petrol whereas in Gulf countries it is dirt cheap. In case we apply bio-diesel formula, the economy is highest.

So people should kick out this UPA govt if it increases oil prices drastically. Also future parties in power should be warned not to continue this hypocrisy or face same fate of UPA. Here I would like emphasize instead of abusing to the running Govt we must think for alternative energy source to help not only ourselves but to the Government in force.


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