Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: The Government has halved the amount of equity infusion in state-owned fuel retailers to Rs 15,000 crore for supporting their investments in energy transition projects, the Finance Ministry said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on February 1 last year while presenting the annual Budget for 2023-24 fiscal (April 2023 to March 2024) announced equity infusion of Rs 30,000 crore in Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) to support the three state-owned firms’ energy transition plans.
Alongside, she had also proposed Rs 5,000 crore for buying crude oil to fill strategic underground storages at Mangalore in Karnataka and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh that India has built to guard against any supply disruptions. “That plan has also been deferred in view of emerging trends in oil markets,” the finance ministry said.
While other state-owned oil companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and GAIL (India) Ltd too have lined up billions of dollars of investment to achieve net zero carbon emissions, the equity support was limited to the three fuel retailers, who had suffered huge losses in 2022 when they held retail petrol, diesel and cooking gas (LPG) prices despite a spike in raw material (crude oil) prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.