Fuel prices may fall by April, says petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan
- Fuel prices have been on fire this month with oil companies raising petrol and diesel prices 16 times so far.
Union minister for petroleum, natural gas and steel Dharmendra Pradhan said that he has asked his counterparts in petroleum producing countries to increase their oil production so that Indian consumers get relief from soaring fuel prices.
“In April last year, major oil-producing countries decided to cut production as there was a sharp fall in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These countries are producing less fuel to make more profit. While less fuel is still being produced, the demand for fuel has reached the point as it was before pre-Covid situation. Therefore, petrol and diesel prices have increased in the country," Pradhan told reporters during an interaction in Varanasi on Saturday evening.
“I am in touch with my counterparts of major oil-producing countries and have spoken to them. I have asked them to increase fuel production in order that prices of oil may come down in our country which buys fuel from these countries.”
He said that as the largest oil buyer, India is creating pressure on oil-producing countries like Russia, Qatar and Kuwait among others to increase production. When production will increase, the cost of per barrel buying will come down and subsequently retail fuel price will also fall.
Asked about a timeline by when prices of diesel, petrol and gas will come down, he said that no one can predict that. “But the prices of cooking gas, diesel and petrol may come down by March or April,” he said.
Fuel prices have been on fire this month with oil companies raising petrol and diesel prices 16 times so far. The last upward revision of fuel prices was on Saturday.
On Friday, Pradhan had said fuel prices are likely to drop as winter ends and attributed the rising rates to an increase in demand during the season.
In Varanasi on Saturday, the minister said that all boats that along the Ganga in the city will now run on CNG for which a CNG station has been set up at Khidkiya Ghat.
He also said that his ministry is working to ensure cooking gas connection in every house, in all eastern UP districts from Gorakhpur to Sonbhadra.