India trying to get resolution soon on rising fuel prices: oil minister

Govt considers windfall tax on oil producers; ONGC drops 5%

Over the past 12 days, petrol prices have increased by up to Rs 3.37 per litre, while diesel prices are up by Rs 3.02 in four metros.

In Delhi, petrol costs 77.47 rupees ($1.13) a litre and diesel sells at 68.53 rupees a litre. In the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, petrol price is at Rs 82.14 and diesel piece at Rs 74.76.

The Union Minister put the blame on uncertain political conditions in oil exploring countries and the worldwide market for the oil price rise.

Diesel prices showed a similar upward revision, with the fuel selling at Rs 69.17 a litre in Delhi, and Rs 73.64 per litre in Mumbai on Monday.

One way the government is considering to reduce the pressure on consumers is by introducing a windfall tax on local oil producers, to be activated in case global prices exceed US$70 a barrel.

The Government arms appear to be dodging sustained volleys from the Opposition and consumers reeling under the burden of record-high fuel prices. While the Centre has increased excise duty, certain States have increased Value-Added Tax and surcharge, which are having an impact on oil prices.

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"When crude prices were falling from November 2014, the repeated increase of duty was a strategic error of the government".

Congress leader P Chidambaram last week claimed it was possible to cut up to Rs 25 per litre in petrol prices. During the day, it tanked 11.44 per cent to Rs 155.45.

The government is considering a windfall tax on oil exploration and drilling companies such as ONGC, Oil India and Vedanta-run Cairn India as part of a plan to cushion consumers from rising crude prices. The tax may come in form of a cess, will kick in the moment oil prices cross $70/bbl.

Reacting to the statement of the Petroleum Minister, Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhushan Behera said he was trying to hide his inefficiency to control the hike in fuel prices.

The government is likely to call a meeting to find a solution to the price hike.

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