Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said petroleum products in the country are getting costlier due to rising prices of crude by oil-producing nations.

"In order to earn more profit in the interest of their countries, crude-supplying countries are increasing the prices of crude," said Pradhan while speaking to reporters here on the rise in the prices of petroleum products like petrol and diesel in India.

He said crude-supplying countries have been requested to desist from the hike in crude prices as it directly affects consumers.

They have created an artificial increase in the interest of their own country, he added.

"Arbitrarily, you cannot hike the prices as it affects consuming countries," Pradhan said in reference to oil-producing countries.

Owing to bad weather, the production in the US has slowed in the past two-three weeks, Pradhan said.

The minister said he expects an improvement in the situation in some time.

Now, the basic problem before the government is to provide relief, employment, save the jobs of the employed, make efforts so that people get money as well as improve health services, the minister said.

He added that the government has planned to provide free vaccine to poor senior citizens by investing Rs 35,000 crore.

Pradhan said finances are required to develop rail, roads and ports, among others. The taxes collected by Union and state governments at present are spent on the development of people, he added.

Earlier, the minister laid the foundation stone of a building in Vatsalya Gram here run by Sadhvi Ritambhara, being constructed for the physically challenged, funded by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation under its CSR programme.

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