Amid speculations on petrol and diesel prices likely to witness a steep hike owing to sky rocketing crude prices, Petroleum minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that government will take a decision keeping in mind the interest of citizens.
"Oil prices are determined by global prices. There is a war-like situation in one part of the country. The oil companies will factor that in. We will take decisions in the best interest of our citizens," he said in a press conference.
He further said that fuel prices were not controlled because assembly elections were taking place in politically crucial states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa as well as Manipur.
"To say that the government had controlled oil prices due to elections is not correct...We will make sure that our energy requirements are met," Mr Puri further said.
Mr Puri said the government had reduced excise duty by Rs 5 per litre on petrol and Rs 10 per litre on diesel last year, but "young leaders" said it was done because of the assembly elections in five states, the results of which will be announced on March 10.
Oil prices are determined by global prices. There is a war-like situation in one part of the country. The oil companies will factor that in. We will take decisions in the best interest of our citizens: Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas pic.twitter.com/1B6evFkJTl— ANI (@ANI) March 8, 2022
The minister though assured that there will be no shortage of crude oil in the country.
"I assure you all that there will be no shortage of crude oil. We will make sure that our energy requirements are met, even though 85 per cent of our requirements are dependent on imports for crude oil and 50-55 per cent on gas," Mr Puri said.
Global crude oil prices continued to rise on Tuesday as Brent crude touched $126 per barrel amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Petrol and diesel prices have been kept in abeyance since the past four months. Government had cut down excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively on November 4, 2021, after which prices across the country had come down significantly.
However despite rising crude oil prices owing to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, fuel prices in the country have till now remained unchanged.
Assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have recently concluded and the results are to be declared on March 10, therefore there are speculations that fuel prices may rise soon after.