New Delhi: The government is looking at ways to keep rising petrol and diesel prices in check, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday, with fuel retail rates touching record highs in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Petrol and diesel prices at the petrol pump have surged on the back of rallying international markets for crude oil, which last week hit their strongest since late-2014 amid ongoing production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).

“Various alternatives are being looked at," Dharmendra Pradhan said in a televised speech, adding that he would “work out something soon". He did not give details.

Opposition leaders have criticized the government for failing to rein in rising fuel prices, a politically-sensitive issue in one of the world’s biggest economies.

India is particularly at risk from stronger global prices for crude oil as it is the No.3 importer of the commodity, buying about 80 percent of its oil needs.

On Monday, industry lobby group FICCI called for an immediate cut in the excise duty on oil imports.

The cost of the growing thirst for oil around Asia will surpass $1 trillion this year, about twice as much as in 2015 and 2016, as oil prices touch $80 per barrel and continental demand hits a record.

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