Petroleum prices could head downward in the coming few weeks if global crude rates decline further, Murli Deora said on Saturday.
"There could be a drop in prices in coming weeks, but I cannot give a specific timeframe nor can I say to what level it will fall," the petroleum minister said.
There were indications that prices internationally could decline and this will be reflected in India as well, he said, adding that if the price of crude declines from the present level of $57-58 to around $50, "then it would be beneficial to the country."
He also said that last year there was a short recovery to the tune of Rs 72,500 crore on account of subsidies on four products - kerosene, LPG, diesel and petrol.
Earlier, Deora handed over the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) awards to the winners at a function.
The OPPI marketing excellence awards were won by Novartis India Limited for its exceptional performance in the marketing of Voveran, while Sanofi-Aventis received the award for its marketing of Myoril.
The OPPI scientist award was won by Arvind Kumar Bansal, Associate Professor for the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology (Formulations), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER).
The best vendor awards were won by Associated Capsules for its outstanding performance in the category of raw material suppliers and Gujarat Glass Limited for its performance in the category of packaging material suppliers.