The Economic Survey 2018-19 presented on Thursday said that a two-and-a-half times increase in India’s per capita energy consumption will help it grow the real per capita gross domestic product (GDP) by $5000 (in 2010 prices). Also, if India has to achieve the Human Development Index (HDI) level of 0.8, the per capita energy consumption has to quadruple.
This comes against the backdrop of India using only around 6% of the world’s primary energy despite it having 18% of the world’s population even as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has set an ambitious task of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025. The Survey said that the ‘problem of energy poverty has been more pervasive than income poverty".
“India’s per capita energy consumption equals 0.6 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) as compared to the global per capita average of 1.8 toe. India’s per capita primary energy consumption lags that of the upper-middle income countries by a considerable margin," the Survey added.
This comes at a time when India has emerged as the voice of consuming nations amid global uncertainties in the energy markets with supplies from Iran and Venezuela drying up and tension escalating in the Persian Gulf. India, the world’s third largest oil importer, has called for a global consensus on “responsible pricing", which balances the interests of producers and consumers. India’s worry over crude oil prices stems from its energy needs being primarily met through imports. India has also sought a review of payment terms with major oil producers.
“In the medium term, for India to achieve per capita GDP comparable to that of the upper-middle income countries, we require greater energy resources and that too at a rapidly increasing rate," the Survey said.
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