New Delhi– Asserting that there is enthusiasm in the country’s energy sector, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said that by exploring natural resources, India is aiming at double-digit GDP growth.

Speaking at the Global Natural Resources Conclave (GNRC) here, the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas said his ministry is in talks with “International Players” to increase oil production on the West Coast.

“India is aiming at double-digit growth (GDP, the current growth is 7.9 per cent). There are several pacts being signed for this, like the ONGC is aiming to enhance the production,” Pradhan said, adding that the ministry is exploring to harness the country’s natural resources.

The minister said that the railways and the petroleum ministry will soon sign a memorandum of understanding for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

He added that the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), the state-owned oil and natural gas company, would soon start the Rajasthan refinery project.

“We are also in talks with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and BP for investment In India,” Pradhan said.

The ongoing GNRC has provided a platform to the key players from the industry and the government to discuss the potential and sustainable use of the country’s natural resources.

The conclave is being held by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Network 18.

Lauding the Indian government’s pro-industrial stance to harness the natural resources here, Australia’s mining magnate Gina Rinehart said that natural resources mean jobs.

“Prime Minister Modi is moving mountains in your country. Very few other leaders are as focused on reducing government red tape and encouraging technology to spur economic growth and jobs as Prime Minister Modi is,” Rinehart said.

Speaking at one of the panels at the conclave, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar said that due to limited resources, India has no other choice but to exploit its natural resources.

“We have 17 per cent of the world’s population of human and cattle but only 2.5 per cent land and only four per cent of water resource… so we have to define our constraints in which we have to work,” Javadekar said.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said the government is committed to reducing the import of natural resources.

“There’s a need to incentivise exploration and expand capacities. The youth demands goods, jobs… The government is committed to providing these domestically through Make in India,” Rathore said.


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