Union Minister for Petroleum Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday informed the Rajya Sabha that the government is looking for an alternate market for fuel purchase amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Responding to a question during 'Question Hour', he said that the government has been exploring all options such as currency to facilitate purchase, supply of oil in markets, insurance and freight.
In response to Congress lawmaker Shakti Singh Gohil's question whether the government intends to reduce diesel rates, the Minister said that the prices of diesel were deregulated. "Whenever we felt that the common man needed more relief, we went ahead and reduced the price. In November 2021, we brought down the fuel prices by Rs 10," Puri said in the House.
Congress MP K.C. Venugopal said that petrol prices have increased 63 times and diesel 61 times. He also said that since November, the government has not hiked the price and asked whether the price will remain the same or will be a hike or not.The Petroleum Minister also informed that Venezuela is a country which was subjected to sanctions by another country. He further said that there was hope and expectation that oil from other sanctioned countries would become available, the Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries would increase their oil production and there would be persuasion by the international community in this regard.Puri also said that neither the union government nor the oil companies are going to float oil bonds."All legitimate steps would be taken to maintain prices of oil," he said.