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Freeze on fuel prices coincidental, not linked to Karnataka elections, says IOC chief


Chennai :Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) chairman Sanjiv Singh said the decision of oil PSUs not to hike petrol and diesel prices since April 24 was aimed at stabilising them and it ‘incidentally’ coincided with the Karnataka elections.

He said before prices were stabilised, there were daily spikes varying from 25 paise to 35 paise, resulting in change in fuel prices by Rs 2 or Rs 3 every 15 days.


“We strongly believe this was unrealistic. So, we thought of stabilising that, tapering it down to a certain extent. Now incidentally it has coincided with some of the state elections. It was not the intention (of oil marketing companies),” he told reporters here.

Singh, who was here to review the financial performance of group company Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, said today’s oil prices in international markets were not supported by fundamentals. There were other factors also.

Noting that the oil firms had freedom to vary the prices in line with international prices, he said, “now, some more development has taken place in the international market recently. Lets see how prices stabilise”.

Responding to a question on the US decision to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal and its impact, he said India was buying about 15 per cent Iranian crude.

“So, lets see. I am sure we will be able to find a solution which will be good for the company and for the country”, he added.

He also noted that the US had given some window. Other countries are still discussing… I am sure we will find a solution”, he said.

“India buys about 15% Iranian crude. So, lets see. I am sure we will be able to find a solution which will be good for the company and for the country”, he said.

There have been apprehensions that the US decision may adversely impact India’s oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation as well as Chabahar port project.

Iran is the third largest supplier of crude oil to India after Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

On bringing petroleum products under the Goods and Service Tax, Singh it would be welcome measure as there would be a uniform pricing policy.

Oil companies were unable to take input tax credit while they pay GST for input components for the raw material, he said.

“This impact we are not passing on to the consumer. We support very strongly that these products should be brought under GST so that there is uniformity and there is lot of simplicity between all those who are not only buying but also who are trading these products”, he said.