International Demand

India will be a key demand driver over the next 30 years, international agreements may change: Hardeep Singh Puri

India will be a key driver of demand over the next 30 years, said Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas. Speaking at New Delhi’s Express Adda on Friday, he also said the “international arrangements in place” were subject to change.

“We have a population that is more economically active and our per capita consumption is one-third of the world average… I have a feeling that the international agreements in place are going to fundamentally change,” he said.

Puri was in conversation with Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express, and P Vaidyanathan Iyer, Editor, The Indian Express.

“Our biofuel blend in 2014 was 1.4%, and today we are already blending 10%. We had a target of 20% for 2030 and we postponed this target to 2024-2025. E-20 or Ethanol mixed at 20% will be available on our gas pumps, according to the press release from our ministry by April 1, 2023… And it may be long before that.

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“We are massively opting for compressed biogas. Yes, it is difficult and there are challenges to overcome, but when you have challenges like this, you either turn them into opportunities or you weigh yourself down…” he said.

On the question of whether the world order is changing, Puri said: “Another way to look at this is, are we seeing a process that is already well underway in de-globalization?”

“Look at what is happening inside the United States. The inflation rate in the United States is the highest in 46 years. The Fed (US Federal Reserve) just announced a sharp hike in interest rates Markets have already priced in this rise in interest rates…and now there’s talk of a similar rise in the coming months.

“In Davos… the most important thing I found there was that Europe seemed to be preoccupied with itself… It took a gentle but assertive interaction to tell them that there is a outside world which today is beginning to face challenges… and we should not approach one crisis in a way that ends up exacerbating other crises,” Puri said.

The world is facing a food crisis, a fuel crisis and a fertilizer crisis, he said, adding that the three were linked.

“The world order that was established after the Second World War…I think now is the time to see if adjustments are needed to adapt it to the world…The world has changed rapidly,” said the minister.

Of rising fuel prices, he said, “You don’t have to be an economist to know that fuel prices at $120 a barrel are making global economic activity unsustainable…You don’t expect recession with a capital R, you are looking at an even worse situation. short term things.

Puri said the fuel price problem did not start with the start of Russian military action in Ukraine.

“If you say to those responsible for bringing oil to market, I mean OPEC+, and you say that oil prices continue to rise…the standard answer is that we don’t determine the price of oil. oil, we just determine how much we put in…But if you put in less than the demand, then you make sure the price goes up.

“Three things have happened as a result of this (Russia-Ukraine) crisis…People have become extremely cautious because you don’t want the kind of impact on your consumer audience that you see in some countries around India … so you will diversify. sources. Second, all this talk about transitioning to green energy – it’s going to happen much faster… In India, we’ve improved our exploration and production significantly,” Puri said.

Regarding housing and property prices, the minister said: “The government needs to make sure it has a system in place that works, and the most glaring thing I found when I became Minister of Housing was…we didn’t have a regulatory body…A sector such as construction, which along with agriculture and textiles are the three largest sectors of employment and contribution to GDP, has no regulator.

The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organized by The Indian Express Group and features those at the center of change.