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Focus on energy security to become self sustainable: Narendra Modi

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Talking on energy security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India will have to be independent in this area and seek new avenues to replenish existing sources in a bid to serve the growing need of the people.

He called for enhancing domestic production to reduce the energy import burden of the country by at least 10 per cent, till 2022 – the occasion of the platinum jubilee of India’s independence.

“We need to be independent when it comes to providing our people with energy,” Modi said, while inaugurating the “Urja Sangam – 2015” conference on energy security at the Vigyan Bhavan exposition complex in Delhi.

He also asked people who are well off to surrender their fuel subsidy entitlement.

“People who don’t need LPG subsidy and those who are capable of managing without it should give it up. I ask you to join this movement. Give up gas subsidy. Create a record. The subsidy that you will give up will go a long way in benefitting the poor people.”

People are already giving up their subsidy, Modi said, and added that “over 2.8 lakh consumers have surrendered LPG subsidy, resulting in a saving of Rs.100 crore to the exchequer”.

Modi said that the government aims to provide piped cooking gas, which currently serves 27 lakh households, to one crore households in the next four years. He also complimented ONGC Videsh Ltd, Engineers India Ltd, and Barauni Refinery, for their successful journey of five decades, and called upon India’s energy sector to plan for the next five decades with a global perspective. He said India, with one-sixth of the world’s population, should shoulder one-sixth of the world’s energy responsibility, hence contributing to global prosperity.

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)