Indian PM asks oil minister to slash imports by $25 bln in 2013/14

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 27, 2013 12:40 hrs

NEW DELHI, Aug 27 (Reuters) - India's oil minister said on Tuesday that the prime minister has asked him to save $25 billion on oil imports in the current fiscal year, to help the country narrow its current account deficit (CAD).

"Oil is one of the components which is responsible for CAD," Veerappa Moily said.

India's oil import bill rose 9.2 percent to $169.25 billion in the 2012/13 fiscal year that ended in March.

"I have already made attempts for $22 billion, and I will make attempts for another $3 billion," Moily told reporters, but did not elaborate.

Moily also said India does not plan to allow oil marketing companies to raise diesel prices by more than the approved 0.50 rupees ($0.01) per litre a month.

He told television channel CNBC TV18 earlier this month that India would consider a request from oil marketing companies to be allowed to raise diesel prices. ($1 = 64.4850 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by Malini Menon)

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