Rejecting opposition Congress’ charge that projects he was inaugurating were started during their time, he said as prime minister he would have been happy if the projects were completed 15 years ago and had led to creation of jobs. “It is very natural that I am happy to inaugurate projects. But as prime minister of a country, I don’t feel happy at all. I would have been happy if these works would have been completed 15 years back, and lakhs of people here had got jobs,” he said.
Dedicating to the nation Indian Oil Corp’s Rs 34,555-crore refinery here, Modi said the government was targeting reduction in oil import dependence by 10 per cent by 2022 by creating a policy environment that supported raising domestic output as well as by mixing bio-fuels like ethanol in auto fuels. “We want to minimise our imports of crude oil. By 2022, we should aim at 10 per cent cut in imports as we will be celebrating the 75th year of the country’s independence. In a meeting with the oil ministry officials, I have impressed upon them on the need to cut oil imports,” Modi said in Paradip.
He added that projects in the country faced obstructions in the form of court proceedings, tender process and sometimes agitations, making these costly.
“For the development of the country, we all — citizens, bureaucracy, industry and policymakers — have to give birth to such a culture where projects start on time, progress within the scheduled time, and finish within the pre-decided time so that country gets the benefit, the benefit comes before scheduled time,” he said.
India had imported 189.43 million tonnes of crude oil in 2014-15 for Rs 6.87 lakh crore. For this financial year, the imports were projected at 188.23 million tonnes, almost the same level as last year.
He underscored the need for blending petroleum with ethanol and use of jatropha oil as an alternative fuel.
Modi said the Paradip refinery was capable of producing 50-million litres of petrol, 66-million litres of diesel, 25-million litres of kerosene and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and 12-million quintals of petroleum coke.
He said the Rs 35,000-crore refinery would churn out raw materials, which would help in establishing a number of plastic industries.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the complex had the potential to create 300,000 jobs and was one of the brightest spots in the ‘Make In India’ campaign.
Minister for petroleum & natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan said a refinery was coming up here 50 years after the establishment of the Paradip port. “Had it not been for the support of the state government, this refinery would not have come up here,” he added.