India not buying crude oil in rupees from Russia: Govt clarifies
Days ahead of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's New Delhi visit, India has clarified that there is no proposal under consideration to purchase crude oil in Indian rupees from Moscow.
Days ahead of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's New Delhi visit, India has clarified that there is no proposal under consideration to purchase crude oil in Indian rupees from Moscow. Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameshwar Teli informed Parliament on the issue, which was raised by Biju Janata Dal MP Sujeet Kumar.
Amidst imposing financial and banking sanctions against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, Moscow has been exploring opportunities to trade in other currencies. The Putin administration is looking for using Yuan and Rupee in dealing with China and India.
In reply, Rameshwar Teli told Rajya Sabha that "At present, oil public sector undertakings neither have any contract nor is any such proposal under consideration from Russia or any other country for the purchase of crude oil in Indian rupees."
Taking advantage of discounted prices that Russia has been offering on crude oil, state-owned oil marketing company Indian Oil Corporation Limited had bought three million barrels of oil from Russia.
It must be mentioned that India is highly dependent on imports for meeting its energy requirements. About 85 per cent of its crude oil requirement are being imported.
Among the major economies from where India imports crude oil are Iraq, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the US.
Earlier, it used to purchase oil from Iran and Venezuela but had to stop sourcing after the United States slapped sanctions on them.
Sources in the government establishment had stated that New Delhi has to keep focusing on competitive oil and gas sources.
The United States and its allies had criticised New Delhi for not condemning Russia over its invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.
India had then hit back at them and said "countries with self-sufficiency or those importing themselves from Moscow cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading."
Sources had added that India’s legitimate energy transactions should not be politicised.
Earlier, Indian oil companies used to import less than one per cent of its requirement. It was primarily due to high freight costs.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that New Delhi was in talk with the Russian administration to buy crude oil and was evaluating issues pertaining to freight, insurance and payment.
Barclay’s Vice President Shishu Ranjan was of the view that India should build its own reserve if the Russian side offers discounts so that the energy bills could be reduced and also manage the fiscal deficit.