August 4, 2017
Saugata Roy speaks on The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017
Sir, I rise to support the The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill, 2017. Before I speak on the Bill, I have two questions for the Minister. One is why the Government increased the price of subsidised LPG by Rs 4 per cylinder and why it will be done every month? This is an anti-people decision. Sudip Bandyopadhyay has spoken earlier on this issue. I also say that, this anti people decision should be withdrawn.
My second question. This Bill was cleared in the Cabinet on April 12, 2017 and this Bill has now come to Lok Sabha. Why did the Minister go and lay the foundation stone of the campus even before it was cleared by the Cabinet? He should not have done that. Laying a foundation stone before even the Bill has been passed by the Cabinet should not have been done by him.
So, having said this, I say that this institute is very essential. It is being set up in Vizag which already had a petroleum refinery. It is close to the Krishna-Godavari Basin where oil has been found. It is also close to Kankinara where HPCL is setting up a new petrochemical complex. So, it is ideally situated. Government of Andhra Pradesh has given 200 acres of land at Sabbavaram, where the Minister went to lay the foundation stone.
IIT Kharagpur has a course on petroleum and teach a subject called Exploration Geophysics. They are mentoring the institute and already four professors are working there and more professors will be appointed after consultation with the IIT professors. The student intake is 50 for petroleum engineering and 50 for chemical engineering. Already 96 students are studying in the institute and the courses are very important.
This Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy is being set up as a follow-up of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, where it was promised that Andhra will have a new Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy and in fulfillment of that objective this has been done.
Now, Sir, I want to say that it is very essential not only to develop petroleum sector but also to develop alternative sources of fuel. India is already deficient; we are importing 70 per cent of our petroleum products. That is why research on non-conventional hydrocarbons as well as new sources like liquefied natural gas, biofuels and renewables should be conducted in India; we need to reduce our dependence on imported fuel which is causing a huge outflow in foreign exchange.
Now as far as the institute is concerned, which is being structured like the IITs, the minister has to bring another Bill so that it can be declared as an Institute of National Importance because that has to be included in Entry 64 of the Schedule 7 under Union List. I request the minister to examine if a separate Bill needs to be introduced for this purpose.
The first ordinance of the institutes will be set up by the Central Government. The first statute and ordinance will be made by the Central Government and thereafter the power will go to the board. Central Government also provide for the General Council of the institute and also provide for the Board of Governors.
In this connection I want to invite the minister’s attention to the Indian Institute Of Management Bill which was passed in this House recently. There the government has withdrawn from the IIMs altogether. They said all decisions will be taken by the Board of Governors and the president will not be a visitor on the IIMs. I want the Minister to follow this path; free this new institute from the apron strings of the Government. Let all these things be decided by the Governing Council of the institute itself.
Sir, as I said that it is of great importance to find more petroleum sources. I request the Minister, since he is here, that it is said that the Bay of Bengal basin is floating on oil. Oil [exportation] had started in the Sunderbans area of Bengal. But that was given up. I think Schlumberger or some American company was doing it. Now it has been given up. I would urge him, so that [exportation] for petroleum can take place in the Bay of Bengal basin.
Sir, the Cabinet has approved Rs 65.46 crore as capital expenditure and given Rs 400 crore as endowment fund. As the Bill states clearly that this will be slowly reduced. In coming days, slowly the central government grant would be reduced and expenditure or shortfall will be made from the endowment fund for which only Rs 400 crore has been allocated. The idea is that ultimately the institute will be raising some of the finances for its own sources and I hope that the Minister would do the needful in this matter so that the institute is not short (of funds).
About Rs 1000 crore is being given for the development of the institute, and so, as I said, it is good that the Government of India is investing so much money in energy research. By 2020-23 capital expenditure would come down to Rs 4.16 crore. The initial capital expenditure is for constructing the buildings, the laboratories etc. So, slowly it will taper down. Then the institute will run from its own income and its endowment fund.
There is already an Indian Institute of Petroleum at Dehradun where ONGC is headquartered. This new institute will provide courses for undergraduate studies. I request the Minister to also initiate the postgraduate courses immediately, and also the courses which are already being offered at IIT Kharagpur. Start doctoral research also.
This is a good step. It fulfills the aspirations of the people of Andhra Pradesh. It is in keeping of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act and it meets the challenge of India’s energy needs in the future.
With these words, I support this Bill.