Petroleum Minister Murli Deora has said petrol and diesel prices would be reduced if global crude oil prices — currently ruling at around $63 per barrel— stabilises around $50 a barrel.
“If the global crude oil price comes to $50 a barrel and stay for a month, we will reduce domestic prices of petrol and diesel and give consumers the benefit of the falling crude oil prices,” Deora told Hindustan Times.
Deora said the government has no plans to completely de-regulate prices to align them with international prices.
“My government is not against de-regulation but we want to pursue reforms with a human face,” he said.
“We have seen the global crude oil prices touch $145 a barrel last year. If it happens again, a full deregulation would only lead to abnormal price hike for the consumers. These are not the kind of reforms we want to usher in.”
Commenting on the recent price hike of Rs 4 per litre for petrol and Rs 2 per litre for diesel on July 1, Deora said, “What more pricing reforms are you looking at? We have increased fuel prices when global crude prices shot up and we will reduce the same once the international prices come down.”
Deora said the government does not want to “completely give the strings of fuel pricing” to the market.
“Fuel prices should be aligned in line with international crude oil prices to an extent that the interests of both the consumers and oil PSUs (public sector undertakings) are taken care of,” he said.
India imports nearly 80 per cent of its crude oil needs.
All petroleum products except petrol, diesel, LPG (cooking gas) and kerosene are priced in line with the international market.