International Markets, COVID Responsible For Fuel Price Hike: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
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"International Markets, COVID Responsible For Fuel Price Hike": Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

The minister said governments need to collect taxes for development projects going on amid the COVID pandemic, but here is a need to maintain the balance.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said the 'less fuel' production by oil-rich countries and COVID pandemic are reasons behind the surge in fuel prices. His statement comes at a time when petrol prices have touched ₹100 per litre mark in some states.

During his visit to inspect the venue where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a rally in Assam's Dhemaji on Monday, the minister said, "There are two main reasons behind the fuel price rise. The international market has reduced fuel production and manufacturing countries are producing less fuel to gain more profit. This is making the consumer countries suffer."

"We have been urging the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and OPEC plus countries that it should not happen. We hope there will be a change," he added.

Defending the taxes imposed on petrol and diesel Pradhan said the Centre and state governments are collecting taxes amid the COVID-19 pandemic for development projects that help job creation, The Times of India, reported.

"Another reason is COVID. Spending on development work (amid pandemic) will create more job opportunities. The government has also increased its investment and 34 per cent more capital spending will be done in this budget. State governments will increase spending. This is why we need this tax but there is a need to maintain the balance. I believe the Finance Minister can find a way," the minister added.

The minister's statement comes a day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman termed the fuel price hike as 'vexatious issue' and proposed that the Centre and state governments should sit together and find out a way to reduce the fuel prices.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday, will inaugurate the INDMAX Unit at Indian Oil's Bongaigaon Refinery, Oil India Limited's Secondary Tank Farm at Madhuban, Dibrugarh and a Gas Compressor Station at Hebeda village, Makum, Tinsukia.

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