Oil marketing firms free to fix petrol and diesel prices says, Pradhan

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    “Petrol, diesel prices have become the highest in three years, but the government will not interfere in the matter,” said Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Earlier, there was speculation that the government could ask the oil marketing companies to sacrifice margins for protecting them from this inflation, owing to which the share price of these companies witnessed a decline. The Prime Minister did not give a clear answer on reducing excise duty to bring down the prices of petroleum products.

    He said, “The Finance Ministry has to decide about this.” He defended the part of excise duty on petroleum products. The Prime Minister said that the amount, which will be provided by the government, will be utilized to construct roads and the irrigation system that will be improved and it will make the provision of drinking water for the rapidly growing population.

    He said that the liberty of deciding the price of oil companies will continue. The Prime Minister said after meeting with the officials of the state-owned oil companies, “Why should the government intervene in everyday work of companies?” This week, the share price of Indian Oil, HCPL, and BPCL declined by 5–6% due to price control concerns. The price of petrol and diesel is determined by the international market in the country. With the arrival of two hurricanes one after the other in the U.S., the world’s 13% refining capacity has been affected badly, which temporarily increased the price of oil. However, it has alleviated in the last few days. Pradhan said that crude oil was cheaper due to the impact of the U.S. refinery, but the price of petrol and diesel had increased. This has benefited Indian refinery companies, which process crude oil and prepares petrol, diesel.

    A source aware of the Chief’s meeting with the officials of the companies said that he has been asked to show sensitivity about the burden of inflation on the people. In the last three years, the cost of crude oil has been reduced but by raising the tax of the government, the common man has not received any relief from the inflation of petrol and diesel. The government has increased the tax on petrol by 64% and diesel to 137%.

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