Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said oil prices will “bounce back” sometime in the near future. “People will be not be affected,” Pradhan said, adding that the government will have to save some money.
Speaking to News18, Pradhan said the government has not hiked retail prices during the COVID-19 outbreak. On May 5, excise duty on petrol was hiked by Rs 10 per litre on petrol and Rs 13 per litre on diesel, amid a plunge in crude oil prices.
Pradhan added that 70 percent of fuel demand had vanished in April 2020 due to the lockdown, as against April 2019. Demand for petrol in April 2020 was 25 percent, while for diesel it was 30-35 percent.
He added that overproduction and low demand had led to a “low price regime” in crude oil. “Prior to COVID-19, there was a conflict between petroleum-producing states to capture as much of the global market as possible which led to an over-production,” the Union Minister said.
Pradhan also mentioned that under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, we had delivered around 7 crore cylinders till yesterday, at a fiscal cost of over Rs 8,000 crore. During this crisis, we undertook doorstep delivery of LPG cylinders, with our officers, distributors and delivery boys acted as corona warriors in this hour of need.