Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Centre will not regulate fuel prices, says Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Centre will not regulate fuel prices, says Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Petrol prices in the country have touched their highest levels since 2014, official data has showed.

"Daily revision in prices is good".

Defending the policy for daily revision of fuel prices, he said petrol and diesel prices are deregulated and are market aligned.

"The government will not interfere in the day-to-day functioning of the OMCs... for the last three years, the pricing mechanism has been linked to the market", he said.

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Since 2014, the excise duty on petrol and diesel was hiked by Rs 12 and Rs 13.47 per litre, a hike of 226% and 486% respectively over the May 2014 level.

If petroleum products are brought under the Goods and Service Tax, the total tax incidence on petrol and diesel is expected to come down to 28 per cent. A litre of petrol in Delhi was priced at Rs. 70.38, while that in Chennai was sold at Rs 72.95, according to the Indian Oil Corporation.

The dynamic fuel pricing mechanism is the best option in the interest of the consumers over the long term, Dharmendra Pradhan said after a meeting with the oil marketing companies' executives.

Before June 15 this year, state oil companies used to fortnightly revise prices to align them with worldwide rates and factor in currency fluctuation.

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Going further, Dharmendra Pradhan also said that with more and more private sector players coming into the fuel retailing business, the sector will see more efficiencies from increased competition, leading to lower prices for the consumers.

Daily revision allows any fall in worldwide oil rates to be passed on to consumers immediately rather than having to wait for 15 days as in the old system, he added.

Earlier, the state-run oil marketing companies used to review and revise retail fuel prices every fortnight on the basis of global crude oil prices, while the revision took effect from midnight. "It is time that he passes of the benefit of 50 per cent reduction in worldwide prices of crude oil to the common person and government stops looting people to fill up its coffers", he added.

Last month, two of OPECs biggest members - Saudi Arabia and Iraq - expressed their commitment to abide by an agreement to cut oil production that was signed earlier between OPEC and 10 other nations.

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