New Delhi, Sept. 26
The softening of crude prices during the last few days notwithstanding, the Petroleum Minister, Mr Murli Deora, said on Tuesday that there was no immediate plan to consider lowering of oil product prices until global crude prices fell below $50 a barrel.
Speaking to newspersons, Mr Deora said, "It is not an appropriate time to cut prices. However, if prices fall $50 a barrel, we may look at revising fuel prices locally."
Mr Deora said that the international prices have softened during the last two weeks, but they need to fall further to give reprieve to consumers and oil companies. The Indian crude basket on Monday stood at $56.28 a barrel. The current month average of the basket till Monday stood at $61.61 a barrel, and current quarter (July to September 25) average was at $68.36 a barrel. The crude basket in the last 30 days has fluctuated between $75.20 a barrel and $56.28 a barrel.
The Petroleum Minister said that the decline has cut the losses of oil companies on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene but has not made selling fuel profitable.