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Home > Business > Business Headline > Commodities

Petroleum: India's largest foreign exchange earner

Commodity Online | October 01, 2007 14:14 IST

Petroleum is emerging as the largest foreign exchange sector in India with 16.2 per cent share petroleum exports are expected to exceed $ 20 billion in this financial year.

According to figures from the Ministry of Petroleum, foreign exchange earnings from the petroleum sector stood at more than $11 billion in the first six months (April-September) of the current financial year. In the last fiscal, it was $9.1 billion.

With the doubling of capacity of the Panipat refinery to 12 million tonnes per annum, India has added 16.5 million tonnes of refining capacity in 2006-07. This has scaled up the combined capacity of India's 19 refineries to 149-million tonnes per annum.

The figures analysed by the Commodity Online Research points out that petroleum surpassed gems and jewellery sector, which is the leading export from India. 

Recently, Finance Minister P Chidambaram lauded the petroleum refiners in India for their brilliant performance.

"Products of world-class quality need to be produced given the importance of petroleum sector exports emerging the biggest contributor to the country's foreign exchange," Chidambaram said.

The finance minister also ruled out any withdrawal of LPG and kerosene subsidies. Citing examples, he said for every litre of kerosene sold at Rs 9 a litre, the government provided a subsidy of Rs 14. Similarly, on domestic LPG, the subsidy was Rs 155 a cylinder.

"We understand the necessity of providing the subsidies to the poor and middle-class section of society. This is necessary... It is your money, taxpayers' money, by which we would continue to support the poor," he said.

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