Union petroleum minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday termed the reports of proposed fuel price cut as ‘speculative’ and ‘mischievous’.
Some media reports had claimed that the Centre is planning to reduce petrol and diesel prices, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
“All these media reports are not only speculative, but I would turn around and say they are slightly mischievous. I have already clarified that there has been no such discussion with oil marketing companies on any such issue,” Puri said in a briefing.
“We are in a turbulent situation. There are conflict situations in two particular areas on the globe,” Puri said, while also citing challenges to shipping in Red Sea, which contributes to 12 per cent of global shipping traffic.
“4-8 per cent of LNG cargo went through this route in 2023. And 8.2 million barrels per day of crude oil comes through this route. If god forbids there is a challenge, you can see the impact it will have,” the minister added.
Oil prices had climbed around $2 earlier in the week following attacks on vessels in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels. On Tuesday they fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles into the Southern Red Sea, though no damage was reported.
“In our neighbouring countries in South Asia, diesel prices have increased by 40 to 80 per cent. If you look at the western industrial region, prices have increased there. ..But the prices have come down here,” Puri said.
“We are able to do this because of the visionary and visionary leadership. The central excise duty cut was done on two occasions, November 2021 and May 2022 and we implemented it in 2023,” the minister added.