India's finance minister urges federal, state governments to work to bring down fuel prices

2021-02-20 14:36:08 GMT2021-02-20 22:36:08(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NEW DELHI, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said India's federal and state governments should make efforts to bring down the retail fuel price to a reasonable level.

"It's a vexatious issue in which no answer except for reducing the price will convince anyone," Sitharaman said. "Both center (federal) and states should talk to bring down retail fuel price at a reasonable level for consumers."

The minister made the remarks as fuel prices in India have witnessed a steep rise over the past two weeks. Petrol and diesel prices in India rose for the 12th consecutive day on Saturday.

Federal and state taxes make up for 60 percent of the retail price of petrol and over 54 percent of the diesel price in India, media reports said.

Petrol prices in India are hovering around 1.38 U.S. dollars a liter.

Reports said the recent petrol prices marked a largest daily increase since oil companies started to revise rates on a daily basis in 2017.

Opposition parties in Indian have begun to stage street protests against the fuel price hike, demanding a rollback.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government has imported 85 percent of the oil and 53 percent of the gas to meet the domestic demand. Enditem