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Oil stocks to last two months

New Delhi, March 20: The government does not see any immediate need for worry on the energy front as international crude prices fell for the second consecutive day and adequate stocks have already been piled up by the national oil companies.

This was perhaps also reflected in the fact that petroleum minister Ram Naik was not even asked to be present at the Prime Minister’s Cabinet meeting called today to assess the situation after the US-led attack on Iraq. Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani, external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha and finance minister Jaswant Singh attended the meeting.

Petroleum minister Ram Naik said in Mumbai: “The government does not foresee any major oil crisis in the wake of the US-led war in Iraq. The country will not face any shortage as stocks of crude oil and petroleum products are enough to meet the requirement for two months.”

The petroleum ministry has been closely monitoring the oil situation since September last year and the Prime Minister has been regularly informed about the developments, he added.

India imports close to 80 million tonnes of crude of which only 2.5 million tonnes comes from Iraq. Contingency arrangements are already reported to be in place for increasing imports from countries outside the war zone.

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