Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that though Russia-Ukraine war has impacted the fuel prices across the world recently, the increase in India worked out to be only 5 per cent during April 2021 and March 2022 as against over 50 per cent in some developed and developing nations.
Intervening in the short duration discussion in the Lok Sabha on the 'Situation in Ukraine', the minister rejected the Opposition's charge that Operation Ganga was 'operation transport' and not 'operation evacuation'.
The minister, who was one of the special envoys sent to countries bordering Ukraine to coordinate evacuation of Indians from the war-torn nation, said the Indian government did organise buses in Ukraine to transport stranded students to bordering countries in the last stages of Operation Ganga and that cannot be dismissed as 'operation transport'.
Referring to rising petrol prices, the minister said, "we are not the only country impacted by the war." The Russia-Ukraine war has affected the entire world, he added.
Citing figures, the minister said the increase in prices of petrol was very low in India as compared to developed and other developing nations in the aftermath of the war.
He said petrol prices have gone up by over 50 per cent in countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, and Sri Lanka. In case of India the increase worked out to be only 5 per cent, he added.
He said that gasoline price increase at pump between April 2021 and March 2022 in the USA was 51 per cent, Canada (52 per cent), Germany (55 per cent), the UK (55 per cent), France (50 per cent), Spain (58 per cent), Sri Lanka (55 per cent) and India only 5 per cent.
"Our percentage increase is one-tenth of what it is elsewhere," he said.
Mr Puri also pointed out that the price of natural gas has shot up several times in the international market after the outbreak of the war.
The minister also refuted the Opposition's allegation that the advisory issued by the Indian mission to the students before the outbreak of the actual war was not clear and was ambiguous.
He said the advisory was very clear and advised the Indian students to leave the country and about 4,000 students actually left Ukraine before the outbreak of the war.
Many students opted to stay back, probably on the advice of the Ukrainian educational institutes that things would become normal or due to fear of losing a year if they chose to leave, he said.
Later, under Operation Ganga, 18,000 stranded students were brought home from different nations bordering Ukraine, he said.
The Indian mission in Ukraine acted proactively by asking the students to get themselves registered before the actual war broke out.
Operation Ganga, he said, would be ranked among the most successful evacuation operations by any country, anywhere in the world.
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