New Delhi: Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday defended daily revision of petrol and diesel prices and said that it will continue despite petrol price jumping by Rs 6.6 per litre in two months.
“Daily revision in prices is good. When we started daily revisions on June 16, rates dropped in the first fortnight. Thereafter it has increased mainly because of rise in global oil prices,” he said.
The minister said daily revision results in any drop in international oil rates being passed on to consumers immediately rather than having to wait for 15 days. In the reverse scenario when international oil rates rise, pump prices are hiked by few paise per day.
The minister pointed out that daily revision in fuel prices avoids sharp spikes by spreading them in small doses. “Should prices be hiked by Rs 2.50 or Rs 3 per litre in one go or they should be spaced out in small doses,” asked Mr Pradhan.
Mr Pradhan on Sunday was elevated as Cabinet minister and given additional charge of ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship. He previously was the minister of state (with independent charge) for the ministry of petroleum and natural gas. He is now the Cabinet minister for petroleum and natural gas. “It is in the interest of consumers. I don’t think that there is a need for change in it,” he said taking charge as Minister for Skill Development.
In June state-owned oil marketing companies started revising petrol and diesel prices everyday through out the country depending upon their international prices and rupee’s valuation.
Previously these firms used to revise fuel prices on 1st and 16th of every month based on average international price of the fuel in the preceding fortnight and currency exchange rate.
Rates during the first fortnight after implementation of daily revision of fuel prices dropped but have been on the rise since July 3. While petrol prices have increased by Rs 6.6 to reach Rs 69.66 a litre in Delhi, the highest since August 2014, diesel rates have risen by Rs 4.02 to Rs 57.38.
Meanwhile, he also said his ministry is seeking approval of the safety organisations for starting home delivery of fuel. “The issue involves safety and we have to first get their approval before a pilot is launched,” he said. “We are trying to get the permission.”