India's Singh to raise fuel price impact at meeting with G8 leaders

Other News Materials 6 July 2008 18:50 (UTC +04:00)

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Sunday that he would highlight the economic impact of rising fuel prices and the need for concerted action when he meets G8 leaders at their summit in Japan, dpa reported.

India is one of five emerging economies, along with China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, that have been invited to the G8 summit as outreach partners. Singh is scheduled to leave for Japan on Monday.

The prime minister is expected to hold a series of meetings, including one with US President George W Bush at which the two leaders are to discuss progress on a civilian nuclear deal.

The controversial deal, initiated by Bush and Singh three years ago, has run into objections from some of India's political parties, especially those on the left.

Some leftist lawmakers who provide Singh's minority government with crucial support in parliament have threatened to withdraw their backing if he project goes ahead.

The region Samajwadi Party, which has a large number of deputies, said it would support the deal, but it is not clear if this will be enough for the Singh administration to survive.

The left parties are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, the day Singh returns from Japan, to decide when they will announce their withdrawal of support.

Singh did not mention the nuclear deal in the statement issued on the eve of his departure, but chose to dwell on the need for joint action by oil-producing and consuming nations on fuel prices and on climate change issues which is expected to be a focus of discussions with the outreach countries.

"I will convey to the international community India's belief that climate change, energy security and food security are interlinked, and require an integrated approach," Singh said.

But he added: "In our view there can be no solution without taking into account the developmental imperatives and aspirations of developing economies. For us, the foremost priority is the removal of poverty, for which we need sustained rapid economic growth."