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Fuel Prices Not Hiked Since April Amid High Global Rates: Hardeep Puri

Centre has reduced the central excise duty twice on 21 November 2021 and 22 May 2022 to insulate Indian consumers from the impact of high international rates of crude oil, Puri stated

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The prices of petrol and diesel are linked to their rates in the global market as our country imports more than 85 per cent of its crude oil requirements, said the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The minister mentioned that there are several factors that affect the retail prices of fuels including crude oil purchase price, exchange rate, shipping charges, inland freight, refinery margin, dealer commission, central taxes, state VAT and other cost elements.

He added that the average price of the Indian basket of crude oil increased by 102 per cent amounting to USD 43.34 to USD 87.55 between November 2020 to November 2022.

Although, the retail prices of petrol and diesel have increased in India by only 18.95 per cent and 26.5 per cent during the period of November 2020 and November 2022, he added.

Sharing the comparison in price rise of fuels per litre, Puri mentioned the rates of other countries in Indian rupees as follows- in October 2022, Petrol was 83.00 and Diesel at 113.38 in the USA, while in the UK, the Petrol cost at 152.41, and Diesel at 171.35.

Also, the prices of petrol and diesel have not been increased by public sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) since 6 April 2022, despite record high international prices which have resulted against the combined 'Profit Before Tax’ of Rs 28,360 crore in H1 of the financial year 2021-22, while the three OMCs namely IOCL, BPCL and HPCL have booked a combined loss of Rs 27,276 crore in H1 of the current financial year 2022-23.

India imports more than 60 per cent of its domestic Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) consumption and rates are based on Saudi Contract Price (CP). Though, Saudi CP increased from 236 USD/MT in April 2020 to 952 USD/MT in April 2022.

While concluding his statement, he said that the centre has approved a one-time compensation of Rs 22,000 crores to OMCs to compensate the sale losses.