India eases regulation of crude imports

State-owned refiners in India have been empowered to develop their own policies for importing crude oil.

The policy-making Union Cabinet of ministers removed a requirement that the companies, known in India as public sector undertakings (PSUs), receive government approval for crude imports. It also eased restrictions on spot purchases of crude.

The former policy didn’t apply to private Indian refiners such as Reliance Industries Ltd. and Essar Energy.

In a statement, the government said the move “will increase the operational and commercial flexibility of the oil companies and enable them to adopt the most effective procurement practices for import of crude oil.”

The affected PSUs will remain subject to guidelines of the anticorruption Central Vigilance Commission.

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