Govt backs daily fuel price revision

Oil minister backs daily fuel price revision

However, he said that as per the indication from the market fuel prices will come down in coming days as situation stabilises in the global market.

Explaining high fuel prices, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said oil prices in the worldwide market have increased in the last three months due to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, and assured that it will cool down soon. But, he asserted that fuel prices are likely to ease in coming weeks as per the forecasts.

"The government has no business to interfere in day-to-day operations of oil companies. government will interfere only to improve operational efficiency of oil companies", he said after meeting the heads of state-run firms. In an advanced economy, the pricing of retail fuel is best left to a formula-driven transparent method, and not knee-jerk reactions, he added.

Despite crude oil prices falling internationally, the Centre has collected over Rs 1.6 lakh crore (Rs 1.6 trillion) in additional excise duty past year, a study of fuel consumption in India revealed.

The petrol and diesel prices have gone through the roof ever since the central government announced daily revision of fuel prices.

Meanwhile, under the daily revision of fuel prices, petrol in Mumbai on Wednesday cost Rs 79.48 a litre, breaching the level it last touched in August 2014.

When calculated on the basis of Nielsen consumption data, trucker users had borne largest tax burden by paying approximately Rs 34,735 crore in additional levy in FY16-17, followed by two-wheeler users who paid Rs 23,210 crore of additional tax, private diesel cars Rs 16,168 crore, private petrol cars 12,973 crore among others. However, Dharmendra Pradhan's statements sought to put the matter to a rest, at least for now.

Petrol and diesel prices have risen to their highest in three years in some cities in the country, following a sharp rise in worldwide rates driven by the hurricane-induced shutdown of refining capacity in the US.

As global crude oil price crashed from almost $100 a barrel on January 1, 2014 to $50 a barrel in November 2014, it allowed oil companies to end their losses and also let the government hike excise duty through a special levy to shore up its finances.

Mr. Pradhan said the global prices had risen due to factors such as the hurricanes in the US, and there were already indications of a "softening in the rates".

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