International Energy Agency (IEA) has invited India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer, to become its full-time member – a proposal if accepted will require New Delhi to raise strategic oil reserves to 90 days requirement.
Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said he held online discussions with IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “As a natural corollary to the India IEA strategic partnership, Dr Birol invited India to deepen its cooperation with IEA by becoming a full Member,” Puri tweeted without saying if the full-time member was acceptable to the government or not.
India in March 2017 became an associate member of the Paris-based body which advises industrialised nations on energy policies.
In January this year, IEA members and India agreed to enter into a strategic partnership, strengthening their collaboration across a range of vital areas including energy security and clean energy transition.
On its website, IEA states that “India is becoming increasingly influential in global energy trends.” Its in-depth report on India’s energy policies, which was released in January 2020, states that the country’s demand for energy is set to grow rapidly in the coming decades, with electricity use set to increase particularly fast.
The country’s reliance on fuel imports makes further improving energy security a key priority for the Indian economy, IEA had said in the report.