Oil minister calls late-night meeting to mull options to reduce fuel prices


Oil minister calls late-night meeting to mull options to reduce fuel prices

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhanburned the midnight oil on Thursday with his ministry officials and top honchos of oil companies in an effort to figure out a way to reduce fuel prices.

The meeting discussed whether the government could ask ONGC to subsidise retailers by way of discount on crude or a windfall tax. However, it came to the conclusion that ONGC could not be expected to do so as it is likely to face major expenses in coming months.

Pump prices have risen to record levels in the fortnight since the Karnataka election, spurred by rising crude prices. This has shifted the focus on Centre raising taxes when the global oil prices were practically on a free fall.

But since the government does not want to cut excise duty, it is looking at alternatives to reduce petrol and diesel prices that had on Tuesday touched an all-time high of Rs 78.43 per litre and Rs 69.31 a litre, respectively. Sources said the alternative in works is to ask ONGC give discount to fuel refiner-retailers. Read More

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