Reddy says politics has nothing to do with fuel prices

Petroleum and natural gas minister S Jaipal Reddy has ruled out any reduction in the current prices of petroleum fuels as oil marketing companies in the country are incurring heavy losses. Politics could not guide the principles of determining the price of petrol, he said, adding, fuel prices in the international markets are extremely volatile.

Reddy was speaking at the launch of the Rs2,200-crore Clean Fuels Project commissioned by Vizag Refinery of HPCL in Visakhapatnam.

"I don't know whether I should be happy at becoming a petroleum minister or not. There is pressure from the public, the opposition parties and my colleagues in the Congress all the time not to hike prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG though the oil companies are incurring huge losses to the tune of Rs1,50,000 crore (Rs1.5 trillion).

And elections are always round the corner in the country. If elections are the criteria we can never hike fuel prices as there are polls every year in India, the world's biggest democracy," Reddy said.

He admitted that fuel price increase was a cause for concern and that there was no choice but to raise fuel prices as per international standards.

He added that the global economic slowdown led to the hike in global crude prices, which would result in taking a toll on the common man in India.