New Delhi: Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is facing criticism from all quarters for increasing petrol and diesel prices, said that fuel prices have started coming down.
“I had said four to five days ago that petrol and diesel prices will come down before Diwali. In the past three to four days, we have been observing that trend. Once the international markets are stable, domestic fuel prices will also stabilise,” said Pradhan.
Pradhan blamed the spike in prices to the 13 per cent decline in crude oil output due to the recent hurricane in the US.
“However, crude prices are now coming down, and this is reflecting in fuel prices,” he said.
When asked whether the Centre would ask states to lower VAT rate on fuels, Pradhan said that this decision has to be taken by individual states.
“Government uses the tax collected to provide good roads, pure drinking water, and other welfare activities. Expenditure on rural development, agriculture, education, and health have tripled in the past three years,” he said.
“There is no effect (on the economy) of demonetisation. There is no economic slowdown because of note ban. If there was a slowdown, the impact would have been visible in January, February, or March. Raising a question about it in September is ridiculous,” Pradhan said.