Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily will on Tuesday unveil a mega fuel conservation campaign aimed at cutting oil demand so as help the nation save up to USD 20 billion in foreign exchange.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked Moily to prepare a plan to cut oil import bill by at least USD 25 billion. India spent some USD 144.29 billion last fiscal on importing its oil needs, which is the single biggest item impacting current account deficit.
The cornerstone of the plan drawn by Moily is likely increasing crude oil imports from Iran to save USD 8.5 billion in foreign exchange as imports from the Persian Gulf nation is paid for in rupees instead of US dollars.
Official sources said Moily would announce the mega conservation campaign at a press conference on Tuesday. Other measures include asking state-owned oil firms to keep crude imports at 2012-13 level of 105.96 million tonnes that will save USD 1.76 billion in foreign exchange.
A mega fuel conservation campaign will be launched to limit fuel consumption growth to last year's 4.1 per cent level which will save another USD 2.5 billion, they said. The plans to be outlined by Moily are a part of the government's efforts to prop up the rupee, which has slipped to 62.60 today from 54.29 on March 28. It had touched all-time low of 68.85 on August 28.