Government looking at steps to control fuel prices: Pradhan

Government looking at steps to control fuel prices: Pradhan
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The government is considering ways to keep rising transport fuel prices in check, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday, even as petrol and diesel prices in Delhi and Mumbai crossed previous highs.

The price of petrol per litre in Delhi on Monday under the dynamic pricing regime touched a record high of Rs 76.57, having — already on Sunday — beaten the previous high of Rs 76.06 in the city on September 14, 2013.

Diesel in the national capital on Monday went to its highest level of Rs 67.82 per litre.

“Various alternatives are being looked at,” Pradhan told reporters, adding that he would “work out something soon”, but did not provide further details.

Various industry chambers on Monday called for the government to urgently reduce fuel excise duties.

“Unless swift action is taken to address the situation, the economic growth will again head towards a speed-breaker. Amongst the most immediate actions that can be taken by the government is to bring down the excise duty on fuel,” industry body Ficci President Rashesh Shah said in a statement.

The price of the Indian basket of crude oils, composed of 70 per cent sour grade Oman and Dubai crudes and the rest by sweet grade Brent, has gone upwards of $75 a barrel in May, after rising to an average of $69.30 in April 2018.

It averaged $47.56 and $56.43 per barrel respectively during the last two financial years.

During a telephonic interaction last week with Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, Pradhan had raised concern over the surge in crude oil prices.

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