States must take some measures to ease fuel prices: Jaishankar

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid the concerns over the fuel prices, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said the state governments must take some measures to ease the prices for the people.

Addressing media persons here, Jaishankar said, “Oil we are getting is the cheapest available in the global market and this makes our government to reduce the price and now the State governments must take some measures to ease it for the people. It may or may not be from Russia, my obligation is to protect my people from the hiking oil prices.”

The Minister hailed India’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive and said the country is capable of finding solutions while facing challenges.

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“We are the country which has made its own vaccine. We are one of the few countries to have our own CoWIN app so that everyone who vaccinates has a digital certificate. Today’s India is capable of finding solutions while facing challenges,” he said.

Mentioning India’s fight against COVID, the Minister said, “World today seeing us as a nation which stepped forward during the pandemic. In the beginning, they doubted our vaccine, our economy was in doubt. But now we have the self-confidence to prove it wrong. We are being treated better in other countries. Comparing the difficulty faced last two years, we are doing great. Our standing is higher at the global level.”

Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to the Kerala capital and will hold several meetings with state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

Though there has been no respite from the high prices of petrol and diesel, the prices have remained stable for over a month now. The last major revision in fuel rates was on May 21 following Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of a reduction in central excise duty. Duty on petrol was then cut by Rs 8 per litre while on diesel by Rs 6 per litre. This led to a slight fall in the prices of petrol and diesel.

Since then, the price of petrol has been hovering around Rs 100 per liter in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, while the price of diesel in these regions has been around Rs 95 per litre.

Meanwhile, consumption of petroleum products in India during the month of June soared 17.9 per cent year-on-year to 18.67 million tonnes, data from Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas showed on Saturday.

During the same period of 2021, the fuel intake was 15.84 million tonne.

On a month-on-month basis too, the consumption of fuels increased marginally during the previous month. A rise in demand for fuels can be attributed to an increase in mobility and the reopening of the economy post the Covid pandemic.

During the same period last year, India was grappling with a severe second wave of the virus, which had limited the demand for fuels to a great extent.

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