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Need to cut oil imports, says Jaitley

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New Delhi, March 27:

Pointing out how decreasing oil prices helped control inflation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the government required to pay attention to oil exploration to reduce the country’s energy imports.

The official photograph of the Defence Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.“Need to look at our oil exploration programme, acquisition of assets overseas to cut dependence on energy imports,” Jaitley said at the “Urja Sangam – 2015”, an international conference here on energy security.

Underlining the importance of coal for industry and power generation, he said the recent coal auctions were a “huge initiative” in this regard.

“Revenues from these auctions will all go to states with tribal areas, which they can spend on development. Minerals will now be available on a more transparent and rational basis,” Jaitley said.

He also said that the government is taking steps for long-term financing in infrastructure projects.

“We’ve given budgetary support for long-term financing of infrastructure. An infrastructure fund has been created where government makes the initial contribution, and in which pension and other funds are going to join in,” he said. IANS