New Delhi, Nov.25 : India may cut fuel prices towards the end of December as the code of conduct for ongoing assembly elections bars potentially vote-winning policy moves, said Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora on Tuesday.
Crude oil prices have fallen from its July peak of 147 dollars a barrel to 54 dollars on Tuesday, but India has not cut fuel prices, unlike Malaysia, which last week announced a fifth cut in prices.
Deora said he is assured of a good relief to the consumers.
"I certainly hope that there will be a good relief in the prices of fuel after the state elections. How much the prices go down will depend on the current prices of oil at that time. If for example prices are 50-52 rupees per litre now it may go down to 40-45," Deora told reporters in national capital New Delhi on the sidelines of his meeting with Sergey Shmatko, the visiting Russian Energy Minister.
Oil Secretary R.S. Pandey said his ministry would send a proposal for price cuts and related subsidy issues to the cabinet before December 24. Voters will go to the polls in a handful of states over the next few weeks.
India raised government-set fuel prices by about 10 percent in early June and has continued to sell petrol and diesel at the same price since then.
State-run firms Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp, have resisted moves to cut fuel prices arguing they need to make up for losses incurred earlier as crude rates soared.
The poll process is currently on in six states including the national capital Delhi to elect new provincial legislatures.