New Delhi: Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily as well as officials of the oil ministry and its PSUs will travel by public transport once a week starting Oct 9 as part of a fuel conservation drive.
"Fuel conservation is a necessity and I have to be the first person to set the example," Moily told media persons here, announcing he would ride buses every Wednesday.
This and other measures like staggered office timings for government employees, which are part of a mega fuel conservation drive, unveiled by Moily earlier this week, are expected to save $5 billion in oil imports.
"I have written to all central government ministries and state chief ministers to observe a bus day every week. I'm expecting some positive response," he said.
India's oil import bill during the last fiscal amounted to nearly $145 billion and is contributing to a record current account deficit (CAD).
Moily also indicated the possibility of a cut in petrol prices in the next few days, in view of the appreciation of the rupee against the US dollar.
"This is all dynamic pricing system and not static pricing. Any advantage of price and rupee appreciation will be passed on to consumers. Consumer will get full benefit," he said.
Moily also said that work on constructing three strategic storage facilities at Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur was making good progress and these were expected to be commissioned by January 2014.
These facilities, together capable of supporting 15 days' consumption, are being constructed by the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd., a subsidiary of the Oil Industry Development Board.
India currently has crude reserves to sustain 74 days' consumption.