India's oil minister will announce plans for lowering fuel consumption on September 16, foreign minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday, in a bid cut the country's import bill amid a sharp fall in the rupee.
Asia's third-largest economy could announce a steep hike in diesel prices later this month as it looks at measures to cut oil costs by nearly $20 billion after the rupee's slide has left India facing an oil bill potentially 50% higher than on May 1.
"No matter what happens, we will have to cut down on fuel consumption," Khurshid told business channel CNBC TV18. "You can't keep subsiding costs of fuel and not restrict the use of the fuel."
Khurshid said increasingly people are realising the "inevitability" of moving away from government-controlled prices.
"That's beginning to happen, but has political implications," he said.