Reduce petroleum prices or face the music: Amar Singh

November 8th, 2008 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiNew Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) National general secretary of the Samajwadi Party Amar Singh Saturday demanded that the central government bring down the petroleum prices in the wake of the falling crude oil prices in the international market otherwise the minister will face the music from the public.“It is high time that petroleum prices are reduced with the fall in the crude oil prices in the international market. If (union petroleum minister) Murli Deoraji fails to do so, he will face the music soon from the public,” Amar Singh said.

Singh was speaking to reporters after meeting United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi Saturday morning.

However, the petroleum minister said though attempts were being made, it was difficult to take a drastic step as the Rupee has devalued almost 20 percent in recent times.

“We are trying our best but it is very difficult to reduce petroleum prices because of the devaluation of the Rupee as compared to the Dollar,” Deora said.

The international petroleum prices have come down from a high of $147 a barrel in July this year to around $60 a barrel last week.

India, however, imports 70 percent of its petroleum needs paying in dollars. As a result, despite the fall in crude prices India’s overall oil import bill in rupee terms continues to remain high.

This is because the value of the rupee has depreciated by more than 25 percent during the current year.

If crude prices remain depressed and the rupee does not depreciate any further — it has been strengthening over the past few days, it may get easier for the petroleum ministry to bring down fuel prices.

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