The central government will take decisions on oil prices in the best interests of citizens, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday, according to ANI. He said that there was a “war-like situation” in a part of the world, and that oil marketing companies would take that into account.

“Oil prices are determined by global markets,” he said.

His comments came amid fears of significant rise in fuel prices as crude oil prices have shot up to the highest levels since 2008 due to concerns over disruptions in supplies. Several western countries have imposed sanctions on oil imports from Russia in retaliation of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

In India, prices of petrol and diesel have remained constant in India since November 4, when the Union government cut the excise duty on the two fuels by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively. However, many have been stocking up on fuel and edible oil, fearing a price rise after election results are declared on March 10, Reuters reported.

On March 5, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had remarked that the Narendra Modi government’s “poll offer” for stable fuel prices was about to end. “Fill up your petrol tanks quickly,” Gandhi had said in a tweet.

Even as fuel prices in India are regulated by oil marketing companies, it has often been observed that the rates remain unchanged during elections, and they are hiked after the result day.

For 18 days in March and April last year, the prices of petrol and diesel remained unchanged as four states and a Union Territory went to polls. However, after the results were announced on May 2, the prices rose steadily to hit record-high levels.

On Tuesday, Puri however denied that oil price hikes had been stalled due to Assembly elections in five states.