India may cut fuel prices after 24 Dec: Deora

India may cut fuel prices after 24 Dec: Deora

New Delhi : 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, the oil minister, Murli Deora, said on Tuesday.

Crude oil has fallen from its July peak of $147 a barrel to $54 on Tuesday, but India has not cut fuel prices, unlike Malaysia, which last week announced a fifth cut in prices.

“Crude oil has fallen. We should reduce prices but we cannot do it before 24 December because of the code of conduct," Deora said.

Oil Secretary RS Pandey said his ministry would send a proposal for price cuts and related subsidy issues to the cabinet before 24 December. 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% 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.