Centre to act on petrol, diesel price hike: Minister

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Petrol, diesel prices on the rise: Rs 79 in Mumbai, Rs 72 in Chennai

He said dynamic pricing ensures that the benefit of even the smallest change in worldwide oil prices can be passed down the line to the dealers and the end-users.

Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan today said the Government will adopt immediate measures to check the price of petroleum products.

The Indian basket of imported crude oils gained almost $3.50 a barrel during last week even as petrol prices in the country touched their highest levels since Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office three years ago, official data showed on Monday. In the last three years, the petrol price hit its highest at Rs 81.75 per litre in Mumbai on 1 August 2014. The oil basket had gained over a dollar at the start of last week on Monday to close at $51.34 for a barrel of 159 litres.

With crude oil prices plunging past year, the government levied cess on petrol in order to mop up extra revenue for the exchequer.

Similarly, petrol per litre cost Rs 70.38 in Delhi, Rs 73.12 in Kolkata and Rs 72.95 in Chennai while diesel price was Rs 58.72 in Delhi, Rs 61.37 in Kolkata, Rs 62.37 in Mumbai and Rs 61.84 in Chennai.

The news reports of a possible government intervention to keep the retail fuel prices in check came in the wake of petrol and diesel prices rising to hit three-year highs in some cities, only, without the people noticing it much this time.

Before June 15 this year, state oil companies used to fortnightly revise prices to align them with worldwide rates and factor in currency fluctuation.

Defending the policy for daily revision of fuel prices, he said petrol and diesel prices are deregulated and are market aligned.

Going further, Dharmendra Pradhan also said that with more and more private sector players coming into the fuel retailing business, the sector will see more efficiencies from increased competition, leading to lower prices for the consumers.

Ever since the rollout of this system, prices of fuel at first dipped by as much as Rs 3.45 per litre in a span of 13 days. "It is time that he passes of the benefit of 50 per cent reduction in global prices of crude oil to the common person and government stops looting people to fill up its coffers", he added. As per latest data, the OPEC basket closed on Friday at $52.53.

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