India Oil Minister Hardeep Puri Reappointed in New Modi Cabinet

(Bloomberg) -- India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed Hardeep Puri oil minister for a second consecutive term, underlining the belief that a former diplomat is best suited to manage ties with suppliers including Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the US.

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The announcement from the president’s office came through a statement from the Press Information Bureau on Monday.

Puri is among several ministers retained in Modi’s new cabinet, including Nirmala Sitharaman who remains finance minister, Raj Nath Singh who continues as the defense minister, and Amit Shah who keeps his job as home minister.

The 72-year-old Puri joined Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014 after retiring from the Indian Foreign Service. He was named petroleum minister in July 2021.

Modi was sworn in as India’s prime minister for a third straight term on Sunday, extending his leadership for another five years, although he suffered an electoral setback that forced him to share power with alliance partners for the first time.

Puri’s first stint as oil minister saw India reduce its dependence on traditional Middle Eastern suppliers like Saudi Arabia for crude and buy more discounted crude from Russia.

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