Focus on exploration, change oil pricing method: Jayalalithaa

Chennai, June 16 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Sunday urged the central government to focus on oil exploration, change the pricing methodology of oil, and stop the fall of the rupee against the US dollar.

In a statement issued here, she condemned the centre for hiking petrol prices by Rs.2 per litre, citing the depreciating rupee, without taking any steps to arrest the fall of the Indian currency.

Citing the statements of union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily that the fall in the rupee was only a short term phenomenon, Jayalalithaa said hiking the oil prices citing the depreciating rupee as the cause for the hike was unacceptable.

According to her, the rupee has been falling against the dollar, for the sixth week in succession, because of slow economic growth, fiscal deficit, fall in exports and greater dependence on foreign investment.

While welcoming foreign investment in the manufacturing sector, Jayalalithaa said foreign institutions put in their money in Indian bonds and stock markets, and take back their cash, liquidating their holdings.

Citing Moily’s recent statement that every petroleum minister was threatened by the oil import lobby, even as the country floated on oil and gas, Jayalalithaa said this posed a threat to the nation.

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