Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has said India is creating pressure on oil-producing countries like Russia, Qatar and Kuwait to increase production so the cost per barrel will come down, so that retail fuel price also falls.
The Hindustan Times has reported that Pradhan said in April last year, major oil-producing countries decided to cut production as there was a sharp fall in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “These countries are producing less fuel to make more profit. While less fuel is still being produced, the demand for fuel has reached the point as it was before pre-Covid situation. Therefore, petrol and diesel prices have increased in the country,” he said during an interaction in Varanasi on Saturday, the report said.
Pradhan said he was in touch with his counterparts of major oil-producing countries and had spoken to them, and asked them to increase fuel production in order that prices of oil may come down in India which buys fuel from these countries.
He said that no one could, with certainty, predict by when prices of diesel, petrol and gas would come down. “But the prices of cooking gas, diesel and petrol may come down by March or April,” he said.
Fuel prices have been reaching sky-high limits lately, and the Indian Youth Congress activists staged a protest outside the residence of Union Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday against rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas, and demanded that the government roll back the hike with immediate effect. Irani, when in the opposition, would take to the streets even if prices of petrol and diesel rose by Rs 5 per litre, but today she is “completely silent” as the country faces an “all-round inflation”, said Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president Srinivas B V. “Today, the Youth Congress has tried to awaken her from sleep. Petrol price has crossed Rs 100 a litre, diesel has crossed Rs 90 in many parts of the country, and the price of cooking gas cylinders are increasing day by day,” he said.