‘There are two main reasons behind the fuel price rise’, says Oil Minister

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Diesel and petrol prices have hit record highs across the country, with petrol touching Rs 89 per liter in Delhi on Monday, and diesel reaching a new high of Rs 86.30 per liter in Mumbai. India has urged the OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and OPEC plus countries to not go for a production cut as that is impacting the fuel price in India, Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Sunday.

“There are two main reasons behind the fuel price rise. International market has reduced fuel production and manufacturing countries are producing less fuel to gain more profit. This is making the consumer countries suffer,” the minister said.

In April last year, India had supported the decision of the major oil-producing countries to cut production as there was a sharp fall in demand in 2020. For over 10 days, the prices of petrol and diesel are increasing. In Mumbai, petrol is at an all-time high of ₹97 per liter, while diesel rate crossed ₹88-mark.

Congress and other opposition parties have been protesting against the Centre for the rising fuel prices while the Centre has said it alone has little role behind the astronomical rise in the price.

“It’s a very vexatious issue in which no answer except for reducing the price (of fuel) will convince anyone. I know I am trading on an area where whatever I may say to bring the reality into picture will only sound like I’m obfuscating, I’m avoiding the answer, I am shifting the blame…,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday.

Two poll-bound states, Assam and West Bengal have ct fuel prices by lowering the taxes that state governments levy on fuel prices. The Assam government has reduced the prices of petrol and diesel by ₹5 per liter.

The West Bengal government on Sunday announced a reduction of tax by ₹1 per liter on petrol and diesel. Recently in Parliament, the minister said that blaming the Centre for the price rise is wrong as states to increase VAT on fuel.

Published by Riya Sharma on 22 Feb 2021

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