Will fuel prices come down? Here's is what Nirmala Sitharaman has to say
New Delhi, Aug 16: Will fuel prices come down in India? Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday ruled out a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel to ease rates that have touched all-time highs, saying payments in lieu of past subsidised fuel price pose limitations.
The previous Congress-led UPA government had issued bonds to state-owned oil companies to make up for the difference in the artificially suppressed retail selling price of fuel and the cost. These oil bonds and the interest thereon are being paid now.
Sitharaman said the government has paid over Rs 60,000 crore interest in the last 5 years on these oil bonds and there still was an outstanding of Rs 1.30 lakh crore.
"If I did not have the burden to service the oil bonds, I would have been in a position to reduce excise duty on fuel," she told reporters here.