Even as crude oil prices touched a low $68 per barrel this week, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday ruled out any immediate reduction in fuel prices.
“The fall in crude prices has helped us but not to the extent where we can reduce prices,” he told Lok Sabha.
The price of a barrel came down to $68 this week and hovered around $73 on Tuesday.
The minister also came in support of oil companies which he said were still recovering from the losses they suffered.
“(Prices in the international market might have come down) but even today, there is an under recovery in the companies. To assume the companies are making profits is wrong,” he said.
Pointing out that the time is not right for slashing prices of essential fuels, he hinted that a reduction can be expected when crude goes below $67 per barrel. “We would be breaking even when crude per barrel touches $67 per barrel (when prices can be reduced). But it has again moved up to $75 per barrel today.”