The government will make a formal announcement reducing the prices of petrol and diesel in Parliament on Wednesday. Petrol is likely to become cheaper by Rs 2 per litre and diesel by Re 1.
The step follows demands from the Left, Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to bring down the prices of petroleum products. They had all contended that since international crude oil prices had fallen in the past two months, the prices of petrol and diesel in India should be revised as well.
Emerging out of an hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told newsmen: “I have nothing to say. Parliament is in session. Any announcement will be made in Parliament.”
Earlier in the day, at a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP), Gandhi revealed that she had discussed the possibility of a rollback in petrol and diesel prices with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a few weeks ago. “He had assured me then he would look into the matter… I am sure this is under active examination,” she said.
Sonia said the steep increase in fuel costs “had been and is a matter of concern to the party”. Petrol and diesel prices had been raised by Rs 4 and Rs 2 per litre respectively last June, when global crude prices soared.
Petrol is currently available at Rs. 52.75 a litre, while diesel costs Rs 39.10 a litre in Mumbai. The rollback comes ahead of Assembly polls in five states early next year.