Previously, reports suggested that the Government had asked state-owned oil companies not to increase fuel prices, and absorb a part of the losses due to the recent recovery in global crude oil costs. However, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has denied any such claims and said that the Government has not asked state-owned oil firms to defer raising the fuel prices ahead of elections in Karnataka.
Oil prices have recovered since hitting a low of USD 27.1 per barrel in 2016. Brent crude is currently trading near USD 70 mark.
The fuel rates, after remaining unchanged for a day, were dropped 4 paise per litre and 3 paise per litre on petrol and diesel respectively. Meanwhile, the international oil rates continued to grow higher. Petrol price currently stands at INR 73.94 a litre, while diesel is sold at INR 64.93 per litre.
“It is well planned strategy of government that oil companies are fixing the fuel prices on the basis of international oil prices. If we don’t bring competitor in the long term, then there would be no solution. Government has given freedom to oil companies,” Pradhan said.
Incidentally, oil companies did not change fuel prices at their respective pumps yesterday (April 12, 2018).
The BJP-led government had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell. The excise duty helped the Government collect more than INR 2,42,000 crore in 2016-17 from INR 99,000 crore in 2014-15.