Iran to keep oil lines open for India

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Sep 2018 10:05:13




IRAN on Friday said it is working together with the Indian Government to keep its oil export lines to India open even after US sanctions on the Gulf nation kick in on November 4 following Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Global Mobility Summit here, the Iranian Roads and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi described the US as an “outsider” to the region and underlined the need to strengthen the traditional relationship between India and Iran. “India and Iran’s relationship is essential for region and we are looking at ways to work together.

The US is an outsider in the region, so the insiders should come together and continue their friendship,” he said.The Iranian Minister’s remarks come a day after India and the US signed a long-negotiated defence pact that enables Indian Armed Forces to buy more sensitive military equipment from Washington but there was no progress on securing a waiver from American sanctions that bar New Delhi from purchasing Russian weapons or Iranian oil.

India has been maintaining that purchase of Iranian crude is crucial to its energy security and that it would go ahead with its purchase of S-400 missile defence system from Russia. India currently has a competitive agreement with Iran for oil supplies -- the shipping costs from the Persian Gulf are minimal in comparison to the US and Iran also offers a longer credit repayment period. Iran became the second biggest oil supplier to India during the first quarter of the current fiscal with state-run oil companies opting for the heftier discounts offered by the Gulf nation, which thus replaced Saudi Arabia in this position.

Modi pitches for investments in electric vehicles



PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday pitched for investments in electric vehicles across the value chain from batteries to smart charging as he unveiled a mobility road map with common public transport as the cornerstone, saying better mobility can boost growth.“Congestion-free mobility is critical to check the economic and environmental costs of congestion,” he said addressing the MOVE, Global Mobility Summit here.

Stating that common public transport must be the cornerstone of mobility initiatives, he said focus must go beyond cars to other vehicles such as scooters and rickshaws. “Clean mobility powered by clean energy is our most powerful weapon in our fight against climate change.”
With CEOs of global auto majors in attendance, Modi said the Government is keen on “investments across the value chain from batteries to smart charging to electric vehicle manufacturing”.

The Government is targeting electric vehicles to account for 15 per cent of all vehicles sales in five years in a bid to curb greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on fossil fuels. An estimated 2,000 EVs were sold last year. “My vision for the future of mobility in India is based on 7 Cs -- Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting edge,” he said. Stressing the need to widely use common public transport to drive mobility initiatives, the Prime Minister said that focus must also go beyond cars to other vehicles.

“We must leverage the full potential for vehicle pooling to improve private vehicle utilisation,” he said. “Convenient mobility means safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of the society.” He said it must be ensured that public transport is preferred to private modes of travel as it would result in fewer traffic jams and lower levels of stress for commuters. “We should champion the idea of ‘clean kilometers’,” he said adding Indian entrepreneurs and manufacturers are now poised to develop and deploy break-through battery technology that would mean a pollution-free clean drive, leading to clean air and better living standards for people.

“Charged mobility is the way forward,” he said. Connected mobility implies integration of geographies as well as modes of transport. The Internet-enabled connected sharing economy is emerging as the fulcrum of mobility. Stating that mobility is a key driver of the economy, Modi said better mobility reduces the burden of travel and transportation and can boost economic growth.

“It is already a major employer and can create the next generation of jobs,” he said. Listing his government’s initiatives, he said the pace of construction of highways has doubled, rural road-building programme re-energised, fuel efficient and cleaner fuel vehicles are being promoted and low-cost air connectivity in under-served regions is being developed.

Gadkari asks auto industry for ‘little change in mindsets’



UNION Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday asked the auto companies for a “little change in mindsets” by giving more priority to future, while assuring them of Government support with clear policies.

Speaking at the MOVE, Global Mobility Summit, the Minister said the Government was clear with its policy to reduce import of oil and end pollution, for which it is encouraging alternative fuel technologies such as biofuels and electric mobility. “Our policies are clear. We want to encourage you, we want to support you but there is a small requirement on your part for a little change in mindsets and give more priority to future,”

Gadkari said. He was responding to comments from auto industry leaders, who wanted clear policy road map for future mobility. Citing example of fixing 12 per cent GST for electric vehicles, Gadkari said the Government is clear with its policies to encourage alternate fuels such as ethanol, methanol, besides electric vehicles. The Minister said the auto industry has been doing well, playing a big role in India’s economic growth with its existing business model but it needs to look beyond the present keeping in mind the future mobility requirements.

He said while the ethanol economy will have a good future, electric vehicles also hold a lot of potential, specially for public transport. For electrification, Gadkari said it would be easier to first target two-wheelers and three-wheelers. Asking the auto industry to convert problem into opportunities, he said more emphasis must also be given to public transportation.