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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Petrol and diesel prices have reached record highs, creating problems and making holes in the pockets of consumers across the country. The petrol price had recently crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark in Sriganganagar town of Rajasthan. Even in Odisha, the extra-premium petrol has also touched the century mark in Malkangiri district.

However, the steep rise in the prices of fuel is a temporary phenomenon, said Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday.

In an interview to ANI, Pradhan said, “The price hike of petrol and diesel is a temporary phenomenon and we are hopeful that the prices will recede gradually.”

Earlier the Union Minister had attributed the fuel price rise to sharp reduction in fuel production by OPEC countries.

According to Pradhan, due to several international circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic, there was demand destruction of fuel which led to supply cut. Though the manufacturing countries had assured to restore the normal production-supply by January-February, it is yet to be achieved, he said.

India had also recently urged the OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and OPEC plus countries to not go for a production cut as that is impacting the fuel price in the consumer-driven country.

According to Pradhan, several taxes are being imposed to revive the economy which was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

However, the Central government-led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come up with a visionary budget in which Rs 35,000 crore has been earmarked for vaccines and focus given on agriculture, railways and other sectors.

“New mandays will be created and people will get jobs in the country. We had earlier urged GST council to include petroleum products which will help the sector to grow and it will also help consumers. We are trying our best in this regard,” Pradhan added.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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