Newly-appointed Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily, on Monday, said his priority would be to fast-track the decision-making process and avoid delaying investments in the oil and gas sector.

Addressing reporters after taking charge, Mr. Moily said he would lay emphasis on intensifying exploration and production activity within the country in order to reduce dependence on imports. Lauding his predecessor for setting a high standard of probity in administration, Mr. Moily said many a time decision-making was avoided. “But this is not the solution, and we need to work seriously to address this issue.”

Mr. Moily said the issue of state retailers suffering losses by selling fuel below cost would be addressed by bringing in efficiencies and not by cutting subsidies. “Investment will have to be attracted by creating a conducive policy environment,”he remarked.

Mr. Moily said the per capita consumption of petroleum products was also a matter of concern. “India's picture is not at all happy. It is approximately 1.2 barrel per person per year.

“Our endeavour would be to bring up consumption to a decent level of 6 barrels per person per year. We have to prepare a roadmap for that,” he said.

Asked about the Reliance Industries Limited’s demand for gas price revision and also its accusation of delays in decision-making, Mr. Moily said: “When I say decisions are to be taken quickly, it means everything. It is not to benefit one or two individuals or companies. It is to benefit of the country and its people,” he added.

More In: Economy | Business | News | National