Fuel price hike is due to Russia-Ukraine war, says Sitharaman and Gadkari
As petrol and diesel price hikes continue for the fourth day in a week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Minister Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari blamed it on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The ministers justified the hikes in fuel prices saying that the international oil prices have increased due to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
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"We have not brought in extra burden. The global situation, a war-like situation is not a time when we are looking at racing. It has nothing to do with election time. If the oil market companies think that they are procuring a 15-day average at a higher rate, obviously we will have to bear," said Sitharaman on Friday.
Gadkari said, “In India, 80 per cent of the oil is imported. Amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the oil prices have spiralled up within international markets and we can not do anything about that."
Petrol and diesel prices have been hiked by 80 paise per litre each on Saturday as well, the fourth hike in last five days. The recent hikes are the steepest single-day rise since the daily price revision began in June 2017. With four hikes starting March 22, petrol and diesel prices have gone up by ₹3.20 per litre. Earlier this week, oil companies ended a nearly five month hiatus in rate revision. Petrol and diesel prices have remained unchanged since November 4 before assembly elections in five states were announced. The revision of petrol and diesel prices resumed soon after assembly elections ended on March 10.
Incidentally, oil companies decided to keep fuel price unchanged even during the phase when cost of raw material (crude oil) soared by about 30 dollars per barrel. It rose to 117 dollars per barrel compared to around 82 dollars in early November, are now passing on to consumers the required increase in stages. Currently, international oil prices are around the 120-dollar per barrel mark.