Fuel prices may fall by April: Petroleum Minister

Union minister for petroleum, natural gas and steel Dharmendra Pradhan said that he has asked his counterparts in petroleum-producing-countries to increase their oil production so that Indian consumers get relief from soaring fuel prices.

“In April last year, major oil-producing countries decided to cut production as there was a sharp fall in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These countries are producing less fuel to make more profit. While less fuel is still being produced, the demand for fuel has reached the point as it was before pre-COVID-19 situation. Therefore, petrol and diesel prices have increased in the country,” Pradhan told reporters during an interaction in Varanasi on Saturday evening.

He said that as the largest oil buyer, India is creating demand pressure on oil-producing countries including Russia, Qatar and Kuwait to increase production. When production will increase, the cost of per barrel buying will come down and subsequently retail fuel price will also fall.

When questioned about by when prices of diesel, petrol and gas will come down, he said that no one can predict. “But the prices of cooking gas, diesel and petrol may come down by March or April.”

Fuel prices have been on constant hike this month with oil companies raising petrol and diesel prices 16 times so far. The last upward revision of fuel prices was on Saturday.

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