GUWAHATI, April 17 � The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is preparing a vision document for the North-east�s hydrocarbon sector in consonance with the Centre�s stated policy of reducing crude oil import to the country by 10 per cent (from 77 per cent to 67 per cent) by 2022.
Assam in particular will have a big role in the vision document, as it stands to get a sustained focus in terms of investment, infrastructure development and value-addition.
Briefing newsmen here today, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that a high-power committee formed for the purpose would submit its findings within three months. He also acknowledged that injustice was done to Assam in the matter of oil royalty and that matters would be set right soon.
�The country�s hydrocarbon sector is set for an overhaul following Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s instruction to reduce import by 10 per cent by 2022. We will begin with Assam, which has the oldest history of crude oil extraction in Asia. Investments will increase on diverse fronts, such as crude oil pipeline, product pipeline, natural gas pipeline, LPG pipeline, etc.,� he said.
Answering a question on the discrimination meted out to Assam in the matter of crude oil royalty, Pradhan said that the State suffered �injustice� at the hands of the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and that �we are now trying to ensure that Assam gets its due remuneration�.
�Assam�s expectation is right� Gujarat has got justice by taking up the matter with the court. I had a word with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today over the issue of oil royalty, and we hope to settle it at government level to Assam�s advantage,� he said.
Pradhan, who visited the oilfields and refineries of Assam during his four-day visit, added that the Assam gas cracker project would soon be commissioned by the Prime Minister, who will dedicate it to the people of the region. �This will impact the region�s economy in a big way,� he said.
Stressing the need for sustained investment for putting to effective use the State�s natural resources, the Minister said that local employment would be linked to value addition of petroleum by-products such as wax.