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India Facing 'Economic Crisis' Due to Huge Oil Imports, Says Gadkari as Markets Crash

Gadkari's comment came on a day when the financial markets plummeted creating panic among investors. The BSE benchmark Sensex nosedived by over 800 points on Thursday afternoon.

News18.com

Updated:October 4, 2018, 3:45 PM IST
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India Facing 'Economic Crisis' Due to Huge Oil Imports, Says Gadkari as Markets Crash
File photo of Union minister Nitin Gadkari. (PTI)
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New Dehi: India is facing an "economic crisis" due to its huge oil imports, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday, ahead of a meeting of ministers to discuss the falling rupee and the nation's widening trade deficit.

India, the world's third biggest oil importer, depends on overseas markets to meet 80 percent of its oil needs.

The partially convertible rupee has lost about 13 percent against the dollar since the beginning of the year, adding to the nation's oil import bill at a time when crude is hovering at around $85 a barrel.

Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Thursday had Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) president Amit Shah participating in hectic parleys with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gadkari's comment came on a day when the financial markets plummeted creating panic among investors. The BSE benchmark Sensex nosedived by over 800 points on Thursday afternoon while the rupee sank to another low amid boiling crude prices, weak global cues.

The rupee plunged to a new low of 73.81 against the dollar, while the international benchmark Brent crude breached the US 86 per barrel level, nearing its four-year high.

The BSE 30-share barometer pared some losses and was trading at 616.15 points, or 1.71 per cent, lower at 35,359.48 at 1245 hrs.

The gauge had lost nearly 550 points in the previous session Wednesday.

The NSE Nifty index too fell 213.15 points, or 1.96 per cent, to 10,645.10. Volatility index India VIX also surged 6 per cent.

All sectoral indices were trading in the red, with IT, auto, pharma, banking and realty stocks witnessing most losses.

Top laggards include Reliance Industries, Hero MotoCorp, TCS, IndusInd Bank, Adani Ports, HDFC Bank, Infosys, HUL, Asian Paints, HDFC and Bajaj Auto, falling up to 6 per cent.

While, Yes Bank was the top gainer, rising up to 2.18 per cent.

According to analysts, the equity benchmark indices have fallen nearly 10 per cent from peak levels attained in August, led by weak domestic sentiments, global uncertainties, depreciating rupee and strengthening crude oil prices.

With rupee and crude oil showing no signs of stability, weakness is likely to continue in the coming sessions, they said.

Brokers said volatility was seen in most Asian markets as high US yield and good economic data led to fear that investors would move to the US, dampened trading sentiments here.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan were trading sharply lower by falling up to 2 per cent.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, ended 0.20 per cent higher Wednesday.
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