21:51 GMT12 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Global crude oil prices plunged last week as Oil Producing and Exporting Countries Plus (OPEC+) failed to agree on production cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 spread, as Russia was not in favour of it. Moscow was of the view that it is too early to assess the impact of the coronavirus on future economic activity and oil demand.

    Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday hit out against the Modi government over high petrol and diesel prices in the country at a time when global crude oil prices are at low levels.

    Seeking to know why the government has failed to provide relief to people when the oil prices are at an all-time low, Gandhi asked which corporate house has silenced the government. “Crude oil prices have decreased world-wide. But the price of petrol and diesel are increasing in India. Why are the common people not getting the benefits of the fall in the prices of crude oil?” asked Gandhi in a Tweet.

    “BJP leaders who had claimed to sell petrol for INR36 in Delhi and Mumbai, have been silenced by which company?” she asked.

    Ever since the crude oil prices cracked over the last week, India’s principal opposition Congress party has been demanding a reduction in the retail prices of petrol and diesel.

    Congress party spokesman Randeep Surjewala last week addressed a press conference inside the Indian parliament on the issue. Surjewala said, “Crude oil prices are between $32 a barrel and $35 a barrel currently. In November 2004, the crude oil prices were $35 per barrel and the rate of petrol per litre was INR 37.84 (half a dollar). Today, the retail price of petrol is INR 70.29 a litre. People are forced to pay additional INR 32.45 per litre of petrol on account of taxes today”. 

    However, rather than passing on the benefits to the common man, the Modi government chose to increase the excise duty on diesel and petrol on Saturday in an effort to shore up revenues for the government.


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