BHUBANESWAR: With fuel price touching new highs and mounting pressure from opposition parties for urgent measures to stem the hike, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said that the price rise is temporary.
Attributing the price rise to factors beyond the control of Central government, Pradhan said there was a demand destruction during the Covid-19 pandemic leading to restricted production by oil producing countries. Though the oil producing countries had assured to restore normal supply by January-February, they have not done this so far.
The situation in Iran has also made the matter worse. The United States is yet to step up oil production. All these factors have contributed to the hike in fuel prices. “India recently urged the OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and OPEC plus countries to not go for a production cut as it is impacting the fuel price in the consumer-driven country,” he said.
While there is a surge in the price of crude oil in the international market, other currencies of the world have weakened in comparison to the dollar, which also has an impact on the Indian currency. All this is temporary and the situation will normalise soon, Pradhan told the media.
“The price hike of petrol and diesel is a temporary phenomenon and we are hopeful that the prices will recede gradually,” he said. Responding to a query, the Union Minister said efforts are being made to bring petrol and diesel under GST.
However, everything depends on the GST Council. If a consensus emerges and petroleum products are brought under the GST regime, the consumers will be benefited, he said.