Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, on Tuesday, that the Central government is sensitive to rising fuel prices and hinted that the public might get relief from the high prices next month. On Tuesday, the price of both petrol and diesel dropped by approximately 15 paise each. Rates differ from state to state depending on the value-added tax.
While addressing a press conference, Puri said, “(The) Central government is very sensitive to this issue (fuel price rise) but it is also very sensitive to see the other responsibilities that we have.” and added, “The common man will get a relief in the coming month.”
Explaining the reason behind the rise in prices over the last few months, Puri said, “The central tax on fuel has remained the same at Rs 32, but since the VAT by states is set in percentage, their tax increase as the price of petrol increases internationally.”
Puri argued that the central taxes being used by the government to distribute free medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic should also be taken into consideration. On Tuesday, the price of both petrol and diesel dropped by approximately 15 paise each. After the revised prices, a litre of petrol costs Rs 101.49 in Delhi, and diesel costs Rs 88.92 per litre. Rates differ from state to state depending on the value-added tax.
Why did the prices of fuel increase suddenly over the last few months?
Due to an increase in crude oil prices, India had to increase consumer prices as well to match the international rates. India imports 80% of its fuel consumption, therefore the government had little option than to increase the prices. Another reason behind the increase in prices was that the country was trying to recover from the brutal second COVID-19 wave. Even the former Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and current Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, said that fuel prices cannot be brought down due to the fact that the government is trying to save funds to spend on welfare schemes to help people recover financially.