PM warns of high oil prices hurting global economic growth

Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned oil producers like Saudi Arabia that high crude prices are hurting the global economy and sought a review of payment terms to provide a temporary relief to the local currency.

India, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, has been over the past two months battered by high crude oil prices that have sent retail petrol, diesel and LPG rates to record high, posed inflationary risks and together with a sliding rupee threatened to upset its current account deficit.

Also, unrelenting fuel price rise since mid-August has negated cut in taxes and subsidy.

Modi at his third annual brainstorming with the chief executives of top global and Indian oil and gas companies, underscored how crude oil prices at a four-year high were hurting global growth.

Sources privy to the deliberations said Modi also asked chief executives why no new investments in oil and gas exploration and production are coming to India despite the government implementing all the suggestions they made at the previous such meeting, sources said.

An official statement issued after the meeting said Modi noted that "the oil market is producer driven and both the quantity and prices are determined by the oil-producing countries".

"Though there is enough production, the unique features of marketing in the oil sector have pushed up the oil prices," it said quoting the prime minister.

Consuming countries, he said, face economic challenges like serious resource crunch due to rising crude oil prices.

(Agencies)