General Awareness

April 05, 2018

April 05, 2018 @ 06:03 PM


Why oil lobbyists are perceived to be too strong?

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Why oil lobbyists are perceived to be too strong?

We all understand the importance of oil, including its diverse uses and our inability to carry out every day activities when there is scarcity of oil. It is shockingly true that if we ever run out of oil, our way of life and our lives will change radically. 
This is the reason why lobbyists, particularly oil lobbyists, make it a point to influence decisions made by government officials for the benefit of the organisation(s) they represent. Generally, lobbyists work for multi-national corporations, private individuals or the general public and fight for their respective group’s interests.
Recently, oil lobbyists in India criticised the country’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Marpadi Veerappa Moily, for proposing a sharp increase in the price of natural gas.
Lobbyists in India called the minister a ‘liar’ and attempted to deter him from making a decision that could cut the Rp 9,388 billion (US$ 160 billion) import bill. 
According to the lobbyists, the minister and his team were keen on raising the price of gas for the benefit of Reliance Industries and to revive the sentiments of investors by valuing gas at the right price. 
This way, the government claims that investments in the country will increase. However, the government is unable to proceed with its plan as there have been many obstructions and obstacles put forth by lobbyists.
This is the power of lobbying, which is why oil lobbyists are considered to be strong not only in India but in other countries too.
Oil lobbyists are capable of getting politicians to bend policies; in fact, they know which buttons to press to get government officials to change their decisions. According to Minister Moily, India is floating on a sea of oil and gas but the officials of the country have not explored the resources completely because of the threats from lobbyists. 
Lobbyists, on the other hand, claim that the government stands to gain from an increase in the price of gas because the benefits flow back to the government in the form of greater share of dividends, profits and fuel subsidy sharing mechanism.
The relationship between oil lobbyists and government officials is complex. The reason why government officials often fall at the feet of oil lobbyists is because corporations that lobbyists belong to often contribute generously to political funds. Hence, politicians are at the mercy of lobbyists and the former is expected to return the favour by accepting the demands of lobbyists.
Governments all over the world have immense power and wealth at their disposal. This results in multi-national corporations and wealthy individuals working hard to drive and guide money and power in their own favour.
Oil and gas companies are extremely wealthy; some of the more profitable oil and gas companies in India include Essar Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and Reliance Petroleum. These companies not just fight for greater corporate welfare but also for laws that will stifle and eradicate competitors from the market. 
Corrupt and non-corrupt countries succumb to the pressure of lobbyists. This is because money makes the world go round. With money comes power and every country yearns to the most powerful country in the world. This is the reason why oil lobbyists or lobbyists in general are considered to be too strong. 
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