Government allows oil companies to draw their own import policies

The government has accorded freedom to Indian oil companies to draw up their own independent crude import policy based on their commercial requirements. State-owned firms such as the Indian Oil Corporation have traditionally been allowed to source crude only from national companies of oil producing nations. On May 21, 2001, the government permitted state refiners to buy oil from top 10 global firms. These are Exxon (which merged with Mobil), Shell, British Petroleum, Elf (merged with Total Fina), Texaco (merged with Chevron), South Korea’s SK, Chevron, USX, Spain’s Repsol and Nippon Mitsubishi (Japan). It was long felt that this list needed to be expanded to include other global giants like Italy’s Eni and Russian companies. The cabinet recently gave its approval to replace the existing policy by vesting oil public sector units (PSUs) with the power to evolve their own policies. The move is expected to provide a more efficient, flexible and dynamic policy for crude procurement, eventually benefiting consumers.



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