Chidambaram, Deora to attend Jeddah oil meet Sunday

June 20th, 2008 - 9:11 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Two senior Indian ministers will attend Sunday’s meeting of oil consumers and producers in Jeddah, called to discuss, among other issues, the spiralling price of crude oil in the global market. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Oil and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora, accompanied by senior officials including Oil Ssecretary M.S. Srinivasan, are to attend the meeting and present the country’s stand on the rising crude prices.

“They will raise the issue of volatility in the global oil market, and how such increase in oil price can affect developing economies,” a government official told IANS, requesting anonymity.

The Indian delegation will leave Saturday.

The Jeddah meeting is taking place at the initiative of the Saudi Arabian government to discuss what it said was an unjustified rise in prices of petroleum products.

Saudi Arabia says market fundamentals did not justify the rise.

Member countries of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will also participate in the meeting.

The OPEC, which meets over a third of the world’s oil requirement, is under pressure to increase output to ease the adverse impact of high prices on world economy.

Chidambaram Friday blamed the rising oil price for pushing India’s annual inflation rate to a 13-year high at 11.05 percent for the week ended June 7 against 8.75 percent the previous week.

“The crude oil prices have increased by about 37 percent since budget 2008,” Chidambaram told reporters here hours after the government released the official wholesale index price.

The price of crude oil in the global market is hovering between $135 and $150 per barrel, a major concern for a developing country like India, which meets around 70 percent of its oil requirements through imports.

Growing crude oil price constrained Indian government to increase the price of diesel and petrol Rs.3 and Rs.5 per litre, and by Rs.50 per cylinder of cooking gas.

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