External factors responsible for fuel price hike: Pradhan

New Delhi: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday reiterated that the hike in fuel price in the country was due to international factors, and not under the Centre’s control.

Speaking to reporters here, the minister said that one major reason for the rise in fuel price is the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the US dollar.

“Due to two major external factors, this unavoidable situation is prevailing in the market. American Dollar is creating a unique and unavoidable situation which is not good for world’s economy also. Today, the Indian currency is stronger as ever. But how do we purchase oil? Through Dollars. Today Dollar is, in a way, the world’s biggest exchange currency. That is creating a problem for us,” Pradhan said.

He also said that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had promised to produce 1 mn MT/day, but as per July-August statistics, the target is not being fulfilled.

“Issues of Iran, Venezuela and Turkey are creating pressure on production. These factors are not in India’s hands,” he added.

Fuel prices witnessed a fresh hike today, with petrol being sold at a record high rate of Rs. 80.38 per litre in New Delhi and diesel at Rs 72.51 per litre.

On the other hand, the price of petrol rose to Rs 87.77 per litre in Mumbai, while diesel is being sold at 76.98 per litre.