crude oil price: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman airs concern over rising crude oil price

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday expressed concern over rising crude oil prices due to the Ukraine crisis and indicated that the central government is looking at tapping alternative sources. In an interaction session organized by the Karnataka unit of the BJP, he was asked about the rising crude oil prices and the impact of the war in Ukraine on the Indian economy.

“Definitely it will have an impact on the Indian economy,” the minister said. “How prepared we’re going to be to take this as a challenge and mitigate the impact is something we’ll look at (with) ahead.”

Noting that India imports more than 85 per cent of its crude oil needs, he said when oil prices rise, it is a matter of concern and “now we have to see how it happens”.

He said that the oil marketing companies fix the price of the pump on the basis of 15 days average. “But now average and beyond average are the numbers we’re talking about”.

He said the government was looking to see if there was an alternative source from where it could get the crude, but he was quick to add: “Obviously global markets are equally unimaginable on all different sources”. .

“It will have an impact (on rising crude oil prices). We have made some provisions for this in the budget. But this provision is only based on some average prevailing earlier, but is now beyond that. So, we have to see how we can solve it”.

International benchmark Brent was trading at around $127 a barrel on Tuesday.

On bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST, he said: “It is already (before the GST Council). Petrol and diesel are already under GST (council).”

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