Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members to stop regulating crude oil production and ease prices. Pradhan made these comments at the IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposium on Energy Outlooks.
Speaking at the symposium, Pradhan reiterated his stand that a spurt in crude oil prices is going to adversely impact consuming nations and a global economic recovery.
“There is an urgent need to allow consumption-led recovery that has just taken roots in several emerging economies, including India. The rising oil prices during the last few weeks are hurting the fragile global economic recovery leading to significant demand contraction. The key producing countries have not only revised the production cuts over and above the previously announced levels, but also made additional voluntary cuts,” Pradhan said.
Pradhan said that while India had supported the joint decision by major oil-producing countries to cut oil production in April last year amid a sharp fall in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But in the current scenario, however, oil-producing countries have to do a rethink on continuing and increasing production cuts.
“In the collective interests of both producing and consuming countries, prices should be reasonable and responsible. The price-sensitive Indian consumers are getting adversely affected by rising petroleum product prices. It also affects demand growth, which could potentially impact the delicate aspirational economic growth trajectory not just in India but in other developing countries as well,” Pradhan added.
His comments come at a time when Indian consumers are reeling under the burden of high taxation on auto fuels and a sudden increase in prices. These hikes are partly because of a recovery in global crude oil prices. The other reason for the increases is the hikes in international prices of petrol and diesel, which serve as a benchmark for domestic prices.
Petrol and diesel prices in the country are now at record highs with successive hikes in February 2021. According to reports, the petrol price crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark in Sriganganagar town of Rajasthan on Wednesday. This is the first time that regular petrol has been sold at such high prices in the country.
In Delhi, petrol sold at Rs 89.54 a litre while diesel retailed at Rs 79.95 a litre. These prices vary across the country on the basis of market conditions and supply chain costs. The varying state levies are also a reason for the difference in prices.
Petrol and diesel prices are on the boil (Rs per litre)
Source: Indian Oil