Petrol, diesel price: Wrong to say 'all-time high', says minister in Parliament

Updated on Feb 10, 2021 12:41 PM IST

Replying to question on petrol, diesel prices, minister Dharmendra Pradhan said KC Venugopal should check international crude oil prices with his close friends in Gulf before coming to the House.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan speaks at Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament.(PTI)
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan speaks at Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament.(PTI)
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Countering Congress MP KC Venugopal's claim that petrol and diesel prices have reached an all-time high, minister of petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said that it was a misnomer.

On Wednesday, the petrol price was raised by 30 paise a litre and the diesel price 25 paise per litre in Delhi. On Tuesday, there was a hike of 35 paise in the Capital.

Replying to questions in Parliament, the minister said the Union government has little to do with petrol, diesel prices and the prices are dependant on international crude oil price. Terming this explanation 'misguiding', Congress MP KC Venugopal said petrol in his village reached 100 per litre. "Petrol and diesel prices are highest of all time now but the crude oil price is not the highest of all time now," Venugopal said asking whether the government will take some step to regularise the prices.

"Venugopal ji is a wise member and a good politician. With utmost politeness, I would like to share this fact today the international crude oil price is 61 dollar. he belongs to the state of Kerala where a lot of people are staying in the Gulf area. Before coming to the House, he should at least check with some of his close friends from that area what is the price," Dharmendra Pradhan said.

"This is an issue we have to tackle with utmost care. States are responsible. Union government is also responsible for this tax issue. Centre has increased excise duty and states have increased VAT according to their own developmental need. And sometimes, the government has reduced excise duty as well. In the last 300 days, the prices have not changed at all for 250 days. So it is a misnomer to campaign in that way that the prices are an all-time high," the minister said.

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"Petroleum products' prices are governed by some international pricing mechanism. This is the practice of the last few decades in our country because we have to import almost 85% of our requirement from the international market. When there is a price hike in the international market, we have to go by that mechanism. The price comes down according to the decrease in the crude oil price in the international market. This is a market mechanism developed by all marketing companies. We have given the freedom to them," he said replying to similar questions in the House on Wednesday.

Replying to Trinamul MP Santanu Sen's question that 90% of the pricing is controlled by the Centre, Dharmendra Pradhan said, "90% is not governed by Centre. State governments and union governments are careful about their tax collection because everybody has their own welfare commitment. They need some resource from this route. This is a proven route by all governments — irrespective of parties and states."

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