Lucknow: Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union Petroleum, Oil and Natural Gas Minister, blamed ice storms in the USA for the hike in diesel and petrol prices in India.
Pradhan, who was in Vrindavan Mathura to attend a function, said that spurt in prices of crude oil in the international market and economic challenges were other reasons that forced the oil companies to increase prices of diesel and petrol in the country.
“The ice storm in the USA badly affected production of oil and demand and supply. The Economic challenges and hike in price of crude oil in the international market added to a spike in prices of diesel and petrol due to low supply,” the minister said.
The Union Minister said that once the supply is restored, prices of crude oil will automatically come down. “We are talking to oil producing countries to ensure that rates are not increased further,” he said.
On the question of heavy taxes and duties levied on petroleum products in the country, the Minister claimed that in the current financial year, the government is spending 25 per cent more than the last year due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“To meet with the financial challenges thrown by the pandemic, we need to generate revenue for the priority sectors like healthcare and development works etc. We are considerate towards consumers but then somewhere we have to bear the cost of the economic challenges,” he sought to clarify.
In Vrindavan, the minister laid the foundation stone of a rehabilitation centre for Divyangs at Vatsalya Gram, run by Sadhvi Ritambhara.