Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday asked the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and OPEC+ producers to fulfill its promise of stabilising crude oil markers by increasing output, Reuters reported. OPEC and other oil producers is an energy alliance known as OPEC+.

Pradhan, while speaking at the CERAWeek conference, said that higher oil prices may suit “some of our friends”, but countries like India required reasonable rates.

The minister pointed to the fact that India had supported OPEC+ decision to slash output in 2020 as demand for oil crashed because of the coronavirus crisis. “[At] that point of time the producers assured us, especially OPEC assured the global market, that by the beginning of 2021 the demand would be coming back and production would be as usual,” he said, according to Reuters. “But I am sorry to say that production is yet to be normal by this time.”

The minister added: “Today we expect the producing countries, especially OPEC and its friends, should do business as usual [over] what they had promised and out of that responsible reasonable price.”

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Rising oil prices are proving to be challenging for the Indian government. The country saw a sharp increase in fuel prices recently. The prices touched Rs 100 in some places. The Opposition has heavily criticised the government for high taxes on fuel.

However, fuel prices have stabilised now. They remained steady for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday, IANS reported. Petrol price in Delhi stayed at Rs 91.17 per litre, while diesel was priced at Rs 81.47.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said last month that the Centre and states should talk to each other about reducing taxes on fuel. Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das had also called on the Centre and states needed to act in a coordinated manner to reduce tax on petrol and diesel.