Dharmendra Pradhan seeks Saudi help to cool fuel rates ahead of Lok Sabha elections

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 10 March 2019, 01:37 PM
During the meeting, Pradhan referred to Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent role as a leading producer of crude oil in the world, and in maintaining global oil market balance. (Photo: @dpradhanbjp/Twitter)
During the meeting, Pradhan referred to Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent role as a leading producer of crude oil in the world, and in maintaining global oil market balance. (Photo: @dpradhanbjp/Twitter)

With petrol and diesel prices rising as much as Rs 2 a litre in the past one month, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has asked world’s largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia to play an active role in keeping rates at a reasonable level. The trade war between United States and China slowed down the global economic growth.  With elections round the corner, the issue of rising oil prices is quite worrisome for the ruling Narendra Modi government.

Pradhan raised the issue of rising oil prices with the visiting Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih late last night and sought a role of the Kingdom in cooling rates, as reported by PTI. “Shared my concern on the rising oil prices and sought active role to be played by Saudi Arabia for keeping oil prices at reasonable level,” he tweeted after the meeting. 

“Met HE @Khalid_AlFalih, Ministry Of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia and discussed about further strengthening the strategic partnership that exists between India and Saudi Arabia,” Pradhan tweeted.

An official statement issued Sunday said: “During the meeting, Pradhan referred to Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent role as a leading producer of crude oil in the world, and in maintaining global oil market balance.”

“He raised concerns about increasing trend in global crude oil prices. He also pointed to the need for uninterrupted supplies of crude oil and LPG to India in view of the OPEC-plus (decision to) cut (output),” it said.

Both ministers, it said, also discussed about the possible adverse impact of recent geopolitical developments on global oil market. It, however, did not say about the Saudi Oil Minister’s response to India’s demand.

Petrol and diesel prices, which are revised daily, have been on the rise for the last one month or so. Petrol price in Delhi has increased by Rs 2.12 a litre to Rs 72.40 on Sunday, while diesel rates have risen by Rs 2.03 to Rs 67.54 per litre.

The statement said the visit of the Saudi Oil Minister was a follow up of first State visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month.

Saudi Arabia is the second largest supplier of crude and LPG to India. In 2017-18, India’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia were 36.8 million tonne, accounting for 16.7 per cent of its total imports.

First Published: Sunday, March 10, 2019 01:37 PM
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