Hardeep Singh Puri is leading India's oil diplomacy
OIL & GAS

Hardeep Singh Puri is leading India's oil diplomacy

Hardeep Singh Puri, a former diplomat recognised for his steadfast commitment, played a crucial role in overseeing the construction of the new Parliament and guiding India through consecutive oil crises. His appointment to ministries, often viewed as challenging, reflects an acknowledgment of his tenure marked by integrity. At the age of 72, Puri held positions as a minister for housing and urban affairs and petroleum and natural gas in the preceding Modi 2.0 government and was recently sworn in as part of Modi's new administration.
Hailing from Delhi, Puri, a member of the 1974 cohort of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), asserts ties with ABVP, the student body aligned with the BJP, during his studies at Hindu College, Delhi University, where he obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in history. He formally joined the BJP in January 2014 upon retiring from the civil service. Puri assumed the role of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs in September 2017 and subsequently took on the responsibilities of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in May 2019. In July 2021, he was promoted to Union Minister and entrusted with the additional portfolio of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas alongside Housing and Urban Affairs.
During his tenure as housing and urban development minister, Puri ensured the timely completion of the new Parliament building. Amidst twin oil crises a surge in oil prices and the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict on net oil-importing countries like India Puri shielded Indian consumers from the impact of escalating petrol, diesel, and LPG prices. Under his leadership, state-owned oil companies maintained stable retail rates despite incurring unprecedented losses, with provisions made for recovery during periods of price decline. This approach curbed inflation while sustaining oil profitability, culminating in record profits for oil PSUs by the end of the fiscal year 2023?24.
Furthermore, Puri resisted pressure from Western nations to boycott Russian oil following the Ukraine invasion, allowing Indian oil firms to take advantage of discounted Russian oil. This decision bolstered India's ties with Russia and provided a safety net for oil companies to offset losses from selling petrol and diesel below cost. Puri adeptly balanced India's engagement with OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, despite a significant reduction in OPEC's share of India's oil imports. Throughout his tenure, Puri maintained an administration untainted by scandals, with no allegations of corruption in housing and urban development projects or controversial incidents in the oil ministry, unlike previous administrations.
Before joining the IFS, Puri served as a history lecturer at St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. Over his distinguished diplomatic career spanning four decades, Puri held numerous esteemed positions, including Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, chairman of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, president of the United Nations Security Council, and secretary-general of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism in New York. He also held significant diplomatic postings in Brazil, Japan, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. Notably, he served as the coordinator of the UNDP/UNCTAD Multilateral Trade Negotiations Project to assist developing countries during the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and chaired the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee from January 2011 to February 2013. Puri's final assignment before retirement was as secretary (economic relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs from 2009 to 2013.  

Hardeep Singh Puri, a former diplomat recognised for his steadfast commitment, played a crucial role in overseeing the construction of the new Parliament and guiding India through consecutive oil crises. His appointment to ministries, often viewed as challenging, reflects an acknowledgment of his tenure marked by integrity. At the age of 72, Puri held positions as a minister for housing and urban affairs and petroleum and natural gas in the preceding Modi 2.0 government and was recently sworn in as part of Modi's new administration.Hailing from Delhi, Puri, a member of the 1974 cohort of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), asserts ties with ABVP, the student body aligned with the BJP, during his studies at Hindu College, Delhi University, where he obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in history. He formally joined the BJP in January 2014 upon retiring from the civil service. Puri assumed the role of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs in September 2017 and subsequently took on the responsibilities of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Civil Aviation and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in May 2019. In July 2021, he was promoted to Union Minister and entrusted with the additional portfolio of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas alongside Housing and Urban Affairs.During his tenure as housing and urban development minister, Puri ensured the timely completion of the new Parliament building. Amidst twin oil crises a surge in oil prices and the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict on net oil-importing countries like India Puri shielded Indian consumers from the impact of escalating petrol, diesel, and LPG prices. Under his leadership, state-owned oil companies maintained stable retail rates despite incurring unprecedented losses, with provisions made for recovery during periods of price decline. This approach curbed inflation while sustaining oil profitability, culminating in record profits for oil PSUs by the end of the fiscal year 2023?24.Furthermore, Puri resisted pressure from Western nations to boycott Russian oil following the Ukraine invasion, allowing Indian oil firms to take advantage of discounted Russian oil. This decision bolstered India's ties with Russia and provided a safety net for oil companies to offset losses from selling petrol and diesel below cost. Puri adeptly balanced India's engagement with OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, despite a significant reduction in OPEC's share of India's oil imports. Throughout his tenure, Puri maintained an administration untainted by scandals, with no allegations of corruption in housing and urban development projects or controversial incidents in the oil ministry, unlike previous administrations.Before joining the IFS, Puri served as a history lecturer at St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. Over his distinguished diplomatic career spanning four decades, Puri held numerous esteemed positions, including Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, chairman of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, president of the United Nations Security Council, and secretary-general of the Independent Commission on Multilateralism in New York. He also held significant diplomatic postings in Brazil, Japan, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. Notably, he served as the coordinator of the UNDP/UNCTAD Multilateral Trade Negotiations Project to assist developing countries during the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and chaired the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee from January 2011 to February 2013. Puri's final assignment before retirement was as secretary (economic relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs from 2009 to 2013.  

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