New Delhi: The prices of petrol and diesel will increase again in the coming months, said energy expert Narendra Taneja on Thursday.
Speaking to ANI, Taneja said, "It is to understand that we import oil. It is an imported commodity. Today, we have to import 86 per cent of our total oil use. The prices of oils are not in the hands of any government. Both petrol and diesel are de control commodities. In July 2010, Manmohan Singh's government implemented the deregulation on petrol. In 2014, the Modi government decontrol diesel."
He said the COVID pandemic is the major reason for the rise of oil prices in the international market.
"Whenever there is an imbalance in demand and supply, prices are bound to increase. The second reason is the lack of investment in the oil sector as governments are promoting renewable/green energy sectors like solar power. Crude oil will be more expensive in the coming months. In 2023, the price of crude oil can rise by Rs 100," he stated.
Asked about the reason for Centre's move to decrease excise duty on petrol and diesel, Taneja said, "When oil prices are low, the government increases the excise duty, when oil is too expensive, the government reduces the excise duty. The consumption and sale of oil had come down to 40 per cent during the time of COVID. Later, it had come down to 35 per cent. When the sales have reduced, the income of the government will automatically decrease. But now that sale is back like the pre-COVID era."
"Secondly, the GST collection is indicating positive sign for the economic recovery. The government is relatively in comfortable position than earlier. Plus, our economy is based on diesel. If the price of diesel goes up that increases the price of everything. The inflation is high. Considering these things, the government has taken this step," he emphasised.
Taneja believes that petrol and diesel should be included in GST so that more relief can be obtained and there will be more transparency.
In a relief to consumers, the Finance Ministry on Wednesday announced a Rs 5 per litre cut in excise duty on petrol and a Rs 10 per litre cut in excise duty on diesel. Amid record-high fuel prices, this is the first cut in central excise duties in over three years.