Maharashtra may soon have lower petrol, diesel prices: Oil Minister

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jul 07, 2022
Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas HS Puri addressing a press conference, in New Delhi, on Thursday

Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas HS Puri addressing a press conference, in New Delhi, on Thursday | Photo Credit: KAMAL NARANG

The comment was made in the backdrop of Maharashtra CM Shinde indicating plans to bring down auto fuel prices

The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas HS Puri on Thursday said that the people of Maharashtra “will soon get respite from high petrol and diesel prices.”

At present, petrol price in Mumbai stands at ₹111.35 per litre, while diesel is at ₹97.28. Maharashtra has recently seen a change-of-guard in the government with the BJP backing Shiv Sena faction leader Eknath Shinde as Chief Minister.

“Not to make a political point, but I guess petrol prices will come down in Maharashtra now,” Puri told reporters here.

Puri’s statement comes in the backdrop of Shinde announcing plans to cut fuel prices. “A decision to reduce VAT on fuel will be taken soon to provide relief to the people,” he had said in a tweet in Marathi on Monday.

Supporting the initiatives taken by the NDA government, the Oil Minister pointed out that when crude oil prices were moving up, the government cut excise duty, which was followed by tax cuts in BJP-ruled States.

“I travel a lot and people are appreciative of the way we maintained fuel and gas prices. There is great appreciation that we have been able to hold the prices. Six crore people go to petrol pumps everyday and nowhere there has been a shortage. Besides, we increased domestic production and are also looking at securing more supplies,” Puri noted.

Decline in global prices

Puri said that the price of crude oil at $120 per barrel is not sustainable, which also implies that inflation, which is already rampant (globally), will become recessionary.

“The US has the highest inflation rates in 46 years, and the UK is facing the steepest decline in living standards since World War II. When the ‘R’ word started going around, crude prices came down. There is an expectation that if adverse economic conditions are faced by countries, then they (prices) can come down further,” he added.

High Inflation and duty cuts

The cascading impact of high petrol and diesel prices have propelled wholesale and retail inflation to historic highs forcing the Reserve Bank of India to raise interest rates.

The wholesale price index (WPI) rose to 15.9 per cent in May against 15.1 per cent in April, which is the highest wholesale inflation rate since September 1991. Similarly, retail inflation has also broken past record and stood at 7.04 per cent in May against 7.79 per cent in April.

On May 21, the government slashed excise duty by ₹8 per litre on petrol and ₹6 per litre on diesel. It resulted in a decline of ₹9.5 a litre on petrol and about ₹7 in retail price of diesel.

Published on July 07, 2022
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