Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, participated in the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers’ virtual Meeting on April 10, 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 organisations 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, the Indian minister reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for G20 taking a human-centric approach for overcoming challenging hardships, especially for the vulnerable.
In this context, themMinister highlighted the decision of PM Modi, 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 emphasised that India was, and will continue to be, the global energy demand centre. He also highlighted the Indian government’s efforts to fill in the Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
In terms of the ongoing energy market fluctuations, minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated that India had always advocated for a stable oil market, which was 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 also advocated 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.