Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said oil companies will determine the fuel prices and assured that there will be no shortage of crude oil in the country.
“I assure you all that there will be no shortage of crude oil. We will make sure that our energy requirements are met, even though 85 per cent of our requirements are dependent on imports for crude oil and 50-55 per cent on gas,” Puri said at a press conference.
There have been speculations that petrol and diesel prices may start to rise after the release of state elections results later this week.
However, Puri refuted allegation that the fuel prices were reduced by the Centre earlier due to elections and the rates will be hiked again after the polls.
Puri said the Centre had reduced Rs 5 per litre on petrol and Rs 10 per litre on diesel last year, but “young leaders” said it was done because of the Assembly elections in five states, the results of which will be announced on March 10.
He said people should take note of other conditions such as the Ukraine-Russia crisis to understand why the rates were hiked globally.
“Oil prices are determined by global prices and there is a war-like situation in one part of the world and the oil companies will factor that in. The oil companies will themselves determine the prices. We will take decisions in the best interest of the citizens,” Puri said.
Prices of petrol and diesel have remained stable since November, even though Brent crude prices fell to $70 per barrel in December.
Before November 2021, soaring pump prices were a major cause of concern for the consumers as it scaled to record highs.
However, prices eased after the government cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 per litre, respectively. Most of the states followed suit by reducing the value added tax (VAT) in addition to excise duty, bringing the much-needed cheer to consumers.
At present, petrol costs Rs 95.41 a litre in Delhi and Rs 109.98 in Mumbai. Diesel is priced at Rs 86.67 a litre in Delhi and Rs 94.14 in Mumbai.
Earlier in the day, CNG price in the national capital and adjoining cities was hiked by Rs 0.50 per kg.
CNG price in NCT of Delhi has been increased to Rs 57.51 per kg from Rs 56.51, according to the information posted on the website of Indraprastha Gas Ltd – the firm which retails CNG and piped cooking gas in the national capital.
Following the firming up of international gas rates, IGL has been raising CNG rates by up to 50 paise (Rs 0.50) per kg periodically. Prices have gone up by about Rs 4 per kg this year alone.
Crude oil prices rose by Rs 37 to Rs 9,321 per barrel on Tuesday as participants widened their positions on a firm spot demand.
On the Multi Commodity Exchange, crude oil for March delivery traded higher by Rs 37 or 0.4 per cent at Rs 9,321 per barrel in 9,660 lots.
(With inputs from agencies)