Fuel prices will be cut, but can't say when, says Moily

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, M Veerappa Moily, said on Wednesday that fuel prices would be cut, but stopped short of specifying by how much and when it would take place.

Asked by reporters whether the oil ministry was planning to pass the relief of fall in crude oil prices in the global market on to the common man, he replied, “There will be relief. But do not ask me when or by how much”.

Moily’s remark about reducing the petroleum prices has come even as Legislative Assembly elections in five states are just a few months away.

The minister also indicated that India would source more crude oil from countries such as Iraq and Venezuela. “A team of officials will visit Venezuela from October 7 to 9 to prepare the groundwork (for importing crude oil). I will also go there later to finalise the deal,” he said, adding that his Venezuelan counterpart Rafael Ramirez had met him in New Delhi on Tuesday.

To a query whether India would increase oil imports from Iran, Moily mentioned sanctions on the West Asian country where New Delhi needed to work with some constraints. The Union ministry, however, had given thrust to gas exploration and cutting down import of crude oil by 50 per cent by 2020, he said.

Moily denied initiating a note for the Cabinet to appoint a consultant vis-a-vis slashing of gas output at the KG-D6 block by Reliance Industries. He said his ministry would soon take several initiatives to conserve fuel.

“I have written to all chief ministers and central ministries to declare one day of the week as Bus Day on which all government employees should be encouraged to use only public transport,” he said but hastened to add that it would not be mandatory for employees to take part in the campaign.

Moily did not rule out the possibility of an electoral alliance between the Congress and YSR Congress of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

“Anything is possible in politics,” he said.

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