Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday said that the Centre would not intervene to regulate petrol and diesel prices, The Hindu Business Line reported. “Petrol and diesel prices in the country are benchmarked to the international price of these commodities,” Pradhan said speaking to journalists after a meeting in New Delhi to review the daily petrol and diesel pricing regime.

He claimed that hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hit the United States over the past month, were responsible for the rise in fuel prices in India. “There has been a 13% decline in the global refining capacity during August due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” the minister said. “Over the past three months, the reduction in refinery capacities has resulted in a 20% hike in the price of diesel and an 18% hike in the price of petrol globally.”

Pradhan said that the prices of petrol and diesel would stabilise if brought under the Goods and Services Tax regime. “According to the tax statistics of the past three years, state tax on fuel has risen from 26% to 34% in Kerala, from 27% to 40% in Maharashtra and from 20% to 27% in Delhi,” he said.

Petrol price in Delhi rose from Rs 65.48 per litre on June 16, when the daily price revision mechanism was implemented, to Rs 70.38 per litre on September 12. In Mumbai, the price rose to Rs 79.48 per litre on September 12 from Rs 76.70 per litre on June 16. Other cities have also experienced significant increases in petrol and diesel prices during this period.