India to meet Iranian, Venezuelan delegations during Jeddah meet

June 22nd, 2008 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram
By Aroonim Bhuyan
Dubai, June 22 (IANS) The Indian delegation, which is in Jeddah attending a meeting of oil producers and consumers, will also hold discussions with their counterparts from Iran and Venezuela Sunday. “The Finance Minister (P. Chidambaram) will speak on behalf of the Indian delegation Sunday afternoon in the ministerial segment of the conference,” a diplomatic source told IANS from Jeddah.

“The Indian delegation has also planned meetings with the delegations from Iran and Venezuela today,” the source said.

Chidambaram and Oil and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora are heading the Indian delegation, which also includes Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan.

Soon after their arrival in Jeddah Saturday evening, both ministers held a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali Al Naimi.

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) are also participating 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 has 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 in New Delhi.

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 forced India 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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