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Govt to take measures to provide relief to consumers from high fuel prices

India relies on overseas purchases to meet about 85 per cent of its oil requirement, making it one of the most vulnerable in Asia to higher oil prices

Crude Oil Price | India oil imports | Indian oil demand

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Hardeep Singh Puri
Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the second part of Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi

Amid skyrocketing oil prices, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said the government will take all required measures in the coming months to ensure that consumers get relief from high fuel prices.

Replying during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas also shared that a proposal to bring petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax was taken up by the GST Council but it "did not find favour".

India relies on overseas purchases to meet about 85 per cent of its oil requirement, making it one of the most vulnerable in Asia to higher oil prices.

Puri was responding to senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, who said it was agreed upon by the government and the opposition that petroleum products will be eventually brought under GST at the time of its introduction, and sought to know the progress been made in this regard.

"States which are acquiring high revenue from the sale of petrol and petroleum products and if I may also add liquor are normally reluctant to reduce their revenue from these two sources," said the Petroleum Minister.

However, Puri said "the government will in the coming months also take whatever measures we have to, to make sure that our consumer gets relief to the extent we can".

Observing that oil prices had shot up from USD 19.56 cents a barrel to USD 130 a barrel at one stage and are currently hovering around USD 109 a barrel, the minister said it is emanating from a war-like situation, apparently referring to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

"But within that whatever space we have, vigour space, margin of persuasion, we should continue to exercise that in the interest of the Indian citizen and the consumer," Puri told the Upper House.

Though the government has deregulated petrol and diesel prices, rate changes have been in the past put on hold by public sector oil companies Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) for reasons that appear to be non-commercial.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, March 15 2022. 02:17 IST