When will petrol and diesel prices drop? Oil minister Pradhan weighs in
Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday prices of petrol and diesel have gone up after fluctuation in the international markets and will eventually come down. “Due to an increase in prices of crude oil in international markets, consumer price (for petrol and diesel) has risen. This will soften gradually. Global supply was reduced due to Covid in turn affecting production as well,” Pradhan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“We are consistently requesting the GST Council to include petroleum products under its purview as it will benefit people. But it is their call to take,” the oil minister added.
Petrol and diesel prices have been increasing continuously for more than 10 days and in some states, the price of petrol has even crossed ₹100. Petrol price has already surged past the ₹100-mark in some places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, states which levy the highest Value Added Tax (VAT) on the fuel. The price of petrol touched an all-time high of ₹97 per litre in Mumbai last Saturday and the diesel rate crossed the ₹88-mark. It was the 12th straight day of price hikes and the largest daily increase since oil companies started to revise rates on a daily basis in 2017.
Petrol and diesel prices were up again in the national capital and stood at ₹90.83 and ₹81.32 per litre, respectively on Tuesday. Petrol price was raised by ₹25 paise while that of diesel by ₹35 paise. The price of liquefied petroleum 14.2kg domestic cylinder was also raised by ₹50 per unit in Delhi on February 14, taking the cost of LPG gas to ₹769 per cylinder.
Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the rise of prices of diesel and petrol. Congress president Sonia Gandhi last Sunday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convey "every citizen's anguish and deep distress regarding the spiralling fuel and gas prices."
Responding to Gandhi’s letter, Pradhan pointed out the issue of taxation in Rajasthan and Maharashtra, states where the Congress party is in power on its own or as part of an alliance. “Sonia ji must know Rajasthan and Maharashtra have maximum tax. Earnings of Centre and state were negligible during the lockdown,” Pradhan said after Gandhi's letter to PM Modi over rising fuel prices.
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