Petrol, diesel rate hike: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan says considering steps to keep fuel prices in check
“Various alternatives are being looked at,” Dharmendra Pradhan said in a televised speech, adding that he would “work out something soon”
New Delhi: India is looking at ways to keep rising fuel prices in check, its oil minister said on Monday, with retail rates for diesel and petrol touching record highs in capital city New Delhi and financial hub Mumbai.
Prices at the pump have surged on the back of rallying international markets for crude oil, which last week hit their strongest since late-2014 amid ongoing production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“Various alternatives are being looked at,” Dharmendra Pradhan said in a televised speech, adding that he would “work out something soon”. He did not give details.
Opposition leaders have criticised the government for failing to rein in rising fuel prices, a politically-sensitive issue in one of the world’s biggest economies.
India is particularly at risk from stronger global prices for crude oil as it is the No.3 importer of the commodity, buying about 80 percent of its oil needs.
On Monday, industry lobby Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) called for an immediate cut in the excise duty on oil imports.
The cost of the growing thirst for oil around Asia will surpass $1 trillion this year, about twice as much as in 2015 and 2016, as oil prices touch $80 per barrel and continental demand hits a record.
Explained: Why OPEC+ is reducing oil output and what it means for the world
Saudi Arabia, the group's biggest producer, will make a deep cut to its output in July on top of a broader OPEC+ deal to limit supply into 2024 as the group faces flagging oil prices
India's import of Russian crude oil hits record high in May, leaving behind supplies from Saudi, Iraq
Russia has now occupied a larger chunk of India's oil imports, taking the figure to 45 per cent in May. This is the highest share for an individual country in recent years