India fears that the escalation of violence in Syria may spill over to West Asia, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday, and that the government may announce steps later this month to curb fuel consumption.
He said relations among world leaders have become heated over possible US military sttrike against President Bashar al Assad's regime.
The US and Russia have been unable to agree on a way forward. President Barack Obama said he had "hit a wall" with his Russian counterpart Valdimir Putin, who has warned the use of force without UN approval would be "aggression" and a violation of international law.
Reports from St Petersburg said the Obama-Putin divide over Syria dominated the G20 summit's first day, despite the group’s primary focus of the world economy. “The divisions are too great,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday.
Khurshid said India is against a regime change in Syria, but stressed that the use of chemical weapons must be prevented.
International markets have been on a tizzy over the prospects of a Western attack on Syria and Brent has been climbing steadily as investors are worried that supply disruptions could persist in the Middle East, after US lawmakers supported a military strike on Syria.
"No matter what happens, we will have to cut down on fuel consumption," Khurshid said at a gathering organised by CNBC-TV18.
According to him, India needs to cut down consumption of petroleum products and the country has to move to market-related prices for oil products. "You can't keep subsiding costs of fuel and not restrict the use of the fuel."
He said Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister will come up with some plans for lowering fuel consumption Sep 16 in a bid to cut the import bill amid a sharp fall in the rupee.
There are reports that the government could raise diesel prices as it looks to cut oil costs by nearly $20 billion after the rupee's slide as the country is facing an oil bill potentially 50 percent higher than on May 1.