India’s oil import bill will be a matter of concern if oil prices shoot up further, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.
‘At this point of time, the trade balance and the current account deficit are manageable. But going forward, we don’t know how (they) will pan out,’ he said on the sidelines of a program here in Murshidabad district in West Bengal.
‘If oil prices increase further, then both the current account deficit and the trade balance will be a matter of concern,’ he told reporters.
Experts have warned that the unrest in Egypt will push up oil prices.
Mukherjee spoke after inaugurating online the 5,000th rural branch of State Bank of India at the Sagardighi railway station, about 30 km from here.
He also inaugurated the 13,333rd branch of SBI and the 22,222nd ATM of the State Bank group.
The minister said though exports have gone up, imports had risen significantly.
He said imports of capital goods and raw materials were increasing. ‘That will increase the production and manufacturing sector.’
‘I don’t know to what extent we can control petro-product use. (Due to the hike in oil prices), the import bill will increase and the trade deficit will be widened,’ he said.