The oil industry is faced with an extraordinary situation. Our government’s view is to take a cautious and conscious approach of a balance in price, save it and use it for welfare, says Petroleum Minister
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan speaks to Nistula Hebbar on the lockdown due to COVID-19, oil prices and global oil politics set to heat up the world over…
Do you think a harsh lockdown, the kind we have had in India, was justified?
A decision was needed in the interest of saving lives. It was made. That gave us precious time to prepare as a society to fight the virus, prevented our systems from being overwhelmed and allowed us the space and opportunity to calibrate our response. We are still in the fight and there might be more benefits that we are not immediately appreciative of.
With lakhs of inter-State workers hitting the highways to go to their native places, do you think they could have been given time to do so before the lockdown was announced?
The decisions were and are in the interest of all Indians as a whole necessitated by a pandemic staring us in our face. These are tough calls we need to take as one nation and we are fortunate to have a leadership who could take those calls. The inter-State workers wanting to go back to their homes was very natural. We did calibrate our steps at the earliest moment of necessity, allowing buses to operate and introducing Shramik trains to ensure much-needed relief to the migrant workers.