Why benefits of reduced international crude oil prices not transferred to consumers: Congress slams govt
Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh also asked that besides public sector refiners, who all benefited from cheaper Russian crude oil and at what price
The Congress on Wednesday attacked the government over prices of petrol and diesel, asking why the benefit of reduction in international crude oil prices in the last 305 days has not been transferred to consumers.
Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh also asked that besides public sector refiners, who all benefited from cheaper Russian crude oil and at what price.
He said the last countrywide petrol and diesel price change was on May 21, 2022.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the crude oil price (Indian Basket) in May 2022 was USD 109.5 per barrel. As per the same source, the crude oil price (Indian Basket) on March 20, 2023 was USD 70.69 per barrel, Vallabh said at a press conference at the AICC headquarters.
In other words, he claimed the country was getting crude oil at about Rs 53.4 per litre in May 2022, which got reduced to about Rs 36.6 per litre as on March 20, 2023.
"In the last 305 days in the international market (May 21, 2022 to date), crude oil prices (Indian Basket) reduced by Rs 16.7 per litre. Even if the same benefit got transferred to consumers, without any reduction of excise duty, the price of both petrol and diesel would come down by Rs 16.7 per litre," Vallabh said.
The Congress leader further claimed that petrol and diesel prices can be reduced by Rs 16.7 per litre without any reduction of excise duty.
"As per the analysis, cheaper Russian oil lowered the average price of imported crude oil by just USD 2 per barrel during the nine months. If we get just USD 2 per barrel of savings after so much noise, and that too is not transferred to final consumers, what is the use?" Vallabh said.
"Other than public sector refineries, who in India is buying Russian oil? As per various reports, nearly three-quarters of cheap Russian oil is purchased by private refiners. These companies buy the cheaper oil, refine it and sell it," he claimed.
Vallabh asked the government why cannot falling crude oil prices benefit be transferred to final consumers.
"In the last 305 days, crude oil prices were reduced by Rs 16.7 per litre, why is the same benefit not transferred to final consumers?" he asked.
"Why do dynamic fuel prices work only in one direction -- increasing prices when crude oil prices in international market rise," he asked.
"Besides public sector refiners, who all benefited from cheaper Russian crude oil? Which all private refiners got cheaper Russian crude, and at what price?" he said.
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