Fuel price rise: PM Modi meets oil company heads

Prime Minister Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met chiefs of oil companies to take stock of the global energy scenario even as fuel prices continued to rise across the four major metros.

According to sources, during the meeting, steps to be taken to keep prices under control were discussed.

It is said the meeting was coordinated by NITI Aayog and it focussed on challenges posed by volatile oil prices and the US sanctions on Iran that come into effect from 4 November.

The meeting also deliberated on ways to revive investment in oil and gas exploration and production.

It looked at measures to attract investments and steps for making it easier to do business in India. The government is looking at private investment to raise domestic oil and gas production, which has stagnated for the last few years while fuel demand has been rising by 5-6 per cent annually.

On Sunday, petrol was priced at Rs. 82.72 per litre in the national capital, up from Rs 82.66 on Saturday, data on the Indian Oil Corporation website showed.

Similarly, petrol prices in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai also rose on Sunday – to Rs. 88.18 in Mumbai, Rs 84.54 in Kolkata and Rs 85.99 per litre in Chennai.

The prices vary from region to region due to local taxes, as the product is excluded from the Goods and Services Tax regime. Delhi has the lowest tax rate among the four metro cities.

Earlier this month, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a cut in excise duty by Rs 1.50 a litre. Additionally, the State-owned oil marketing companies have been mandated to reduce prices of petrol and diesel by Re 1 a litre each.

Modi in 2015 had set a target of reducing India’s oil dependence by 10 per cent to 67 per cent (based on import dependence of 77 per cent in 2014-15) by 2022. Import dependence has only increased since then and the government is now looking for ways to raise domestic output.

NT Bureau