Govt to take 'holistic' measures on oil pricing, asserts Pradhan
New Delhi: "The government will take 'holistic' measure on oil pricing," the oil and gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday while mentioning the achievements of his ministry in the last four years. He further said that 'geopolitics', 'price of crude oil in international market', fluctuations in the rupee price of oil due to variation in the rupee-dollar exchange rate, and 'taxation' are the factors which effects on the oil price in the Indian market.
"Our main agenda is poor-friendly governance and there will be no such measures taken that will affect the lives of the middle class and poor. Energy justice is our commitment. 'Energy in reasonable rate', 'clean energy', and continuous supply of energy is the key focus," Pradhan further added. He mentioned that LNG import has also increased. "Earlier it was only one country. But now it is four countries," the minister said.
On the other hand, the fuel prices were also slashed for eight consecutive days and Pradhan asserted that there is no question of rolling back fuel price deregulation. In fact, prices of global crude prices have also come down in the past few days, leading to further relaxation in prices of petrol and diesel.
However, Pradhan also clarified that bringing oil and gas- which is a prolonged concern depends on both finance ministry and the GST Council. "There are many petro-products and others are being taxed, but the rest depends on the council," he added.
Meanwhile, ministry sources suggested that the government was in talks with ONGC to bring down the alarming rates but there has been no follow up on the same. The minister also seemed to dodge the question while asked by the media persons. It is not known whether the fall in petrol and diesel rates is due to a consensus with the oil major or due to a dip in global oil prices.
On Wednesday, petrol was retailing in major cities such as Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata at Rs 85.54/litre, Rs 80.68/litre and Rs 80.37/litre. Likewise, non-branded diesel was retailing at Rs 68.80/litre in Delhi, Rs 71.35 in Kolkata, Rs 72.64 in Chennai and Rs 73.25 in the financial capital.
Pradhan who is also the minister of Skill development, further avouched that the government is going to have Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra in 700 districts across the country.
"Both the finance ministry and skill development ministry have come up with an effort that will empower nearly one lakh youths in the second quarter of this financial year," he said. "India has 48 crore work force and the ministry's main target is to re-skill and off-skill them," Pradhan further added.