Centre In "Constant Discussion" With Finance Ministry To Reduce Fuel Prices: Government Sources

The Centre is in "constant discussion" with the Finance Ministry for reduction in petroleum prices, government sources told NDTV

Government is in constant touch with Finance Ministry to reduce fuel prices, say sources

The Centre is in "constant discussion" with the Finance Ministry for reduction in petroleum prices, government sources told NDTV, even as fuel prices continue to touch record highs almost on a daily basis across the country.

The Petroleum Ministry seeks to lower fuel prices and has held discussions with Finance Ministry on how to go about it, sources added.

Higher taxes on fuel prices is a matter of concern for the petroleum ministry and sources said that they are actively working on the tax issue so that people get some relief from them.

As it is the nodal ministry, the petroleum ministry wants prices of petrol and diesel to come down, though the final decision will be taken by the finance ministry, sources said.

Government is also reviewing the subsidy on LPG and wants that it should be given only to the needy, sources further said.

Both the Centre and the states must reduce the fuel prices together, they added. Sources also said that the Petroleum Ministry is "working very hard with oil producing countries to work towards a reduction in prices by reaching out to them from Saudi Arabia to Russia." They stated that the global oil rates should be within $70 barrel per dollar and for the next three months, careful measures should be adopted.

Fuel prices across the country are at record highs and are pinching the common man's pocket. In Delhi, a litre of petrol now costs Rs 105.84, while diesel is sold at Rs 94.57 per litre.

Petrol currently costs 33 per cent more than the price at which aviation turbine fuel (ATF or jet fuel) is sold to airlines. ATF in Delhi costs Rs 79,020.16 per kilo litre or roughly Rs 79 per litre.

Sources, however, clearly mentioned that there has been no consensus on bringing the petroleum products under the ambit of goods and services tax (GST). They also stated that the country's strategic oil reserves are slightly less than 90 days but are met only for an emergency.

On former finance minister and current Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Yashwant Sinha's remark on rising fuel rates, sources said, "can't compare the prices with 2014."

Mr Sinha on Sunday had said, "We are a country of dead people. Nowhere else would people have tolerated the daily and unjustified rise in petrol, diesel and LPG prices. If the government collected Rs 75,000 crore in taxes in 2014, it is today collecting Rs 3.50 lakh crore. Isn't it daylight robbery?"