I am known for my tech talks and most of the posts on the blog are related to tech but like companies have CSR, I too feel a sense of responsibility in sharing my views on certain issues plaguing our country. Be it the current (I’d rather say always) state of our politics, or the way resources are getting depleted from mother earth. I admit that I am not able pen down much about my conscious and thoughts that give me sleepless nights but there has been something I’ve been wanting to ask each one of you lately.
What I want to know is, have you ever wondered why does some of the best quality commodities manufactured in India never reach us in our own country?Whereas the same products are sold back to us in other countries at higher than its actual value.
Have you ever thought of questioning as to why cultured pearls, precious & semiprecious stones, metals are exported? Similarly organic chemicals like fertilisers, when the same does not even reach our domestic farmers and the ones who get to grab a hand, end up buying at twice the actual amount.
Have we ever questioned why is there a need to export cotton, when the Government can use the produce to meet the domestic needs – may be try meet the needs of billion! Yet we continue to read news of hundreds dying when winter hits its peak. The total exports for the year 2013 – 14 accounted for 13,86,496 Crores!! That certainly is a hefty amount, but do we know where the money goes?(No I am not blabbing here, I’d request you all to refer to the report issued by the Ministry of commerce & Industry)
Like these, we are surrounded with many unanswered questions that we never bother to seek the answers. Does it not sound like a mystery as to where does the high quality rice go and why, when people in our country are undernourished? Where do the manmade yarn & fabrics go? Why the children are left to consume adulterated fruits & food grains when best of the best are being exported? Where do the best mangoes go?
In total the list accounts of six key categories under which commodities are exported every day around the world – but the bigger question here that comes to my mind is, if we are equipped to meet demands of other countries, then why not our own people and our own country? Why are many homeless left to die in extreme winter and why laborers sweat for 20 hours just to buy a single meal for their families? Why still a major percentage of people are surviving in slums? Why still the country does not have access to continuous electricity? A basic question arises that why even after 60 years of independence we are unable to develop infrastructure and generate adequate employment opportunity for all able Indians?
For once I can accept, perhaps it’s the need of the hour to balance the trade deficit, control the fiscal deficit and pump liquid cash and foreign currency to strengthen our economy. But what I cannot understand is where the money that comes from exports is pumped in to? Definitely not towards developing infrastructure! And certainly not towards creating medical facilities, nor for creating more jobs.
Oil & Gas, is where the answer lies!
India meets significant part of its energy requirements through imports. Oil constitutes predominant and an increasing share within the energy import basket. Currently, India is the world’s 4th largest importer of crude oil after US, China and Japan. It spends around US$ 400 million every day on imports.
The economy is, thus, susceptible to vagaries of international crude price movements with its resultant negative impact on overall economy. Higher under-recoveries, inflationary pressure due to higher oil prices are creating macro-economic imbalances.
All studies foretell that our dependence on imported oil will only increase. As an example, according to the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2013, India would become the largest single source of global oil demand growth after 2020. India’s oil imports would be larger than those of Japan by 2020 and exceed those of the E.U. by 2035. It is also well accepted that unless there are significant domestic oil and gas finds, it is estimated that the country’s dependence on imported crude oil may increase from roughly 75% now to about 90% in 2030.
Thus it is imperative to address oil security concerns. But this will require a holistic approach. There is no single policy measure that can address the growing challenge. The GOI will have to intervene through numerous policy measures. It should simplify the otherwise complex policies and make it investor friendly. Today there aren’t much of international players operating in India because of the policy paralysis and instances where the government has gone back on its contractual obligations in the past. The new Government needs to restore and build confidence with the operators in the country and gain back their faith in the system. But that’s not all! You & me have stand up for what is Right. I’d urge all of you to leave your valuable feedback, comments below and share this thought via social media, email etc with as many people as possible.