BHUBANESHWAR: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said the increase in fuel prices was due to reduced production of oil in Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and hike in crude oil price in the international market.
Petrol prices today touched a record high of Rs 76.24 per litre and diesel climbed to its highest-ever level of Rs 67.57 as the oil PSUs passed on four weeks of relentless rise in international oil prices to consumers.
Noting that people, especially the middle-class, have to suffer due to price hike of oil, the minister said the government would try to work out a solution soon to deal with the situation.
"It's not in our hands. There is less production of oil in OPEC countries. The government will soon come out with a solution," he told reporters here. Pradhan, however, did not spell out the details.
Stressing the need for stable and moderate oil prices, he said the surging fuel prices have negative impact on consumers and the Indian economy.
With global crude prices soaring, the minister has already pressed OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia to keep prices stable and moderate, saying that spike in rates would have a negative impact on Indian consumers as well as on the economy.
Pradhan had conveyed India's concerns when Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih called him recently.