India trims petro prices; Global prices drop

New Delhi, November 29:

India cut prices for petrol by just over four per cent and diesel by slightly above three per cent to reflect falling global oil prices in the past six months, the petroleum minister said today.

“In view of the softening international oil prices, the government under the guidance of prime minister Manmohan Singh has decided to reduce retail selling price of petrol by two rupees (Indian Currency-IC) per litre and that of diesel by one rupee (IC) per litre with effect from midnight tonight,” petroleum minister Murli Deora told the upper house of parliament.

India’s Congress party-led coalition government has been under pressure from left-wing allies to control high prices resulting in part from a hike announced for petrol and diesel in June when crude hovered near record levels above $70 a barrel.

The price of petrol will fall by Rs 2.0 a litre to Rs 45.49 IC ($1.02) in New Delhi while diesel will cost one rupee less at Rs 31.45 IC per litre. Similar price cuts outside the capital will occur subject to local tax rates.

On June 5, India raised petrol prices by just over nine per cent and diesel by more than six per cent.

The government however opted not to change the prices of heavily subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene, widely used by the poor for cooking.

Left-wing parties and trade unions have threatened a one-day nationwide strike in December to protests prices for food and other essential items which have spiked on higher transport costs.