Govt will address oil price rise issue: Pranab

Ghaziabad: Worried over the rising price of crude oil, India`s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said the government can address the issue even outside the Budgetary route if the upward trend continues.

"If the crude price increases beyond certain level… we have to address this issue. It has not been necessarily addressed through the budgetary route. It can be done even after the Budget. That exercise, we will be making," he told reporters on the sidelines of an IMT Ghaziabad event.

The government, he further said, has to make an assessment whether "the country has the capacity to import (crude oil) at the same level of import that we are currently doing." In his Budget proposals for 2012-13 made on Friday, Mukherjee has made a provision of Rs 40,000 crore towards fuel subsidy. After adding freight subsidy and fixed subsidy provided on PDS kerosene and LPG, the outgo has been pegged at Rs 43,580 crore.

Crude oil prices have been rising on account of geo- political turmoil in Iran and had touched a high of USD 125 a barrel earlier this month. The government has refrained from increasing prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas despite pressures from the oil marketing companies. The government deregulated petrol prices in 2010 but has yet to take a decision on freeing of diesel prices.