Crude Oil Price Rise Is A Worrying Issue - Chidambaram

Finance Minister P ChidambaramNew Delhi: Yesterday, Finance Minister P Chidambaram alleged that the zoom in worldwide oil prices is a subject of serious concern and it was for the Petroleum Ministry to take a call on retail pricing of petroleum products.

“Yes, rising crude prices is a matter of grave concern... it is entirely for the Ministry of Petroleum to propose that (an increase in domestic fuel prices) and seek a view on this,” he said here.

Mr. Chidambaram was responding to a question if the rise in crude oil prices warranted an increase in petrol and diesel prices. Crude oil prices have touched a record 78 dollars a barrel this month and India imports over 70 per cent its crude oil requirement.

He said the existing inflation rate that stood at 4.3 per cent as indicated by newest government records, which was determined by primary commodity prices, primarily fuel and food items.

Asked about the continuing discussion on pricing of natural gas, the Finance Minister stated, “I have no views on that.”

The statement of the Committee of Secretaries that got into the subject of market determined against regulated prices for natural gas would be considered by the Cabinet, he added.

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