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FUEL ECONOMY DRIVE FROM OCT 1

LEAD CAMPIGNERS VIRAT KOHLI, SAINA NEHWAL

The Oil Ministry is taking up the mega conservation drive from October 1, which will propagate the need for fuel conservation. Cricketer Virat Kohli and shuttler Saina Nehwal will be lead icons in the campaign. The campaign would encourage proper driving habits, better maintenance of vehicles, use of carpooling for going to offices and schools, switching off engines at traffic lights and driver training to minimise the wastage of fuel. The activities planned in the campaign include direct interaction with consumers to encourage them in adopting conservation measures while using TV, print and electronic media to generate awareness on the issue.

EVERY WEDNESDAY BUS DAY

Leading by example, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily today said he will travel by public transport every Wednesday, starting October 9, as part of the fuel conservation drive to save USD 5 billion in oil import bill. Moily said he and all officials in his ministry as well as in oil PSUs will travel by public transport every Wednesday.
"I had Chief Ministers, central ministries and PSU heads to declare one day of the week as 'BUS DAY' during which staffers be encouraged to utilise only public transport for their daily commute. As part of it, I will either take metro or a bus to work every Wednesday starting from October 9," he said.
A circular is also being issued for asking officers in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas as well as 14 public sector firms under the ministry like ONGC and IOC to take public transport every Wednesday.
"Its a voluntary act. I cannot punish anyone not taking the public transport but I want everyone from the highest ranking officers to the lowest, to take public transport every Wednesday," he said.
Moily has suggested to the Department of Personnel to introduce staggered office timings for government employees to decongest road traffic during peak hours and asked Urban Development Minister to introduce "Free Cycle Scheme" in select cities for saving fuel.

PETROL PRICES MAY COME DOWN

Moily hinted at a reduction in price of petrol in next few days, the first cut in rates in over five months. The reduction in rates is likely to be announced by the month end as per the practice of fortnightly revision in prices, and has been made possible due to appreciation of rupee against the US dollar.
"This is all dynamic pricing system and not static pricing... any advantage of price (reduction in international rates) and rupee (appreciation against US dollar) will be passed on to consumers... consumer will get full advantage," he said.
Asked if a cut in petrol price was possible on September 30, he said "hope so."
"Petrol price is a deregulated commodity, price of which is decided by our oil marketing companies based on input cost and other parameters," he said.
If state-owned oil firms cut rates at month end, it will be the first reduction in prices since May. Petrol price was last cut on May 1 by Rs 3 per litre, the steepest reduction in rates in over five years. However, since then petrol prices have been raised or gone up by seven times, totalling Rs 10.80 per litre, excluding VAT, as rupee depreciated sharply against the rupee. Last increase in petrol price was effected from September 14 when prices went up by Rs 1.63 per litre. Petrol costs Rs 76.06 per litre in Delhi.

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