Even as prices of petrol continued to breach the Rs 100 per litre-mark in multiple cities, Madhya Pradesh Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang on Thursday “congratulated” Prime Minister Narendra Modi for finding a solution to the problem by promoting solar energy, NDTV reported.
“I would like to congratulate Narendra Modi ji, because he has made provisions so that we can have control on international prices [of oil] by using solar power for transport,” Sarang told reporters on being asked if the state planned to provide relief to consumers by cutting taxes.
“Modiji’s decision to bring electric vehicles will strengthen our control [over] oil pricing,” Sarang claimed, according to the news channel. “Demand and supply decide [oil] prices in the global market. So, if we reduce the demand, we will have control over prices. This is why Modiji has decided to bring in electric vehicles... We will be able to control the prices of oil.”
The comment came a day after Modi himself blamed previous governments for the alarming rise in fuel prices, which he attributed to his predecessors doing little to reduce India’s energy import dependence. “Can a diverse and talented nation like ours be so energy import dependent,” the prime minister had asked on Thursday. “I do not want to criticise anyone but I want to say, had we focused on this subject much earlier, our middle-class would not be burdened.”
Meanwhile, the increase in fuel prices carried on for the eleventh straight day, as oil marketing companies increased the cost of petrol by 31 paise per litre and that of diesel by 33 paise per litre on Friday, according to Mint. As a result, petrol cost Rs 90.19 per litre in Delhi, while diesel was priced at Rs 80.60 a litre. In Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices on Friday, stood at Rs 96.62 and Rs 87.67 per litre, respectively.
In Anuppur city of Madhya Pradesh, where Sarang is from, the price of petrol had crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark on Thursday, Mint reported. In Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar town, petrol cost Rs 100.78 per litre, while diesel was priced at Rs 92.78 a litre. Prices of petrol with additives had breached the Rs 100-mark for the first time in parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh earlier this week.
Opposition parties have blamed the Modi government for exorbitant fuel prices, which are due to raising taxes to scoop out the benefit repeated from international oil rates plunging to a two-decade low in April and May. While global rates have rebounded with a pick up in demand, the government has not restored the taxes, which are at a record high.
As per an analysis by BloombergQuint, the key factor for costlier petrol and diesel are taxes that account for about 55% to 60% of what consumers pay at the petrol pump.