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Weak Indian Rupee mainly responsible for fuel price hike: Pradhan

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], May 24 :
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday said that the reduced value of the Indian rupee in comparison to the US dollar is causing fuel price hike.

Speaking to ANI, Pradhan said, "It is due to various circumstances in international (oil) market and mainly the value of Indian Rupee has reduced in comparison to US Dollar, which has led to a surge in oil prices. We are trying to control the prices."

When asked whether petrol and diesel would be brought under the ambit of Good and Services Tax (GST), Pradhan underscored that the aspect was being considered by the Centre.

"The Centre has taken this (fuel hike) under consideration. I am confident that we can find a way, where common people will not be affected by such fuel hikes," Pradhan replied to a query on the Centre's move to curb steep fuel hike prices.

Pradhan further said that the Centre under Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon take quick measures to give some relief to the common people from the sky-rocketing fuel prices.

"See, there are a lot of investments by stakeholders. There are various factors under consideration like - the current scenario of international oil markets, the valuation and devaluation of Indian Rupee and US Dollar and so on. We don't see only one factor. We are trying our best to give some relief to the common people," he said.

Earlier in the day, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday dared Prime Minister Modi for a fuel challenge.

Rahul took a jibe at the Prime Minister after he accepted an online fitness challenge posed by Indian Cricket captain Virat Kohli.

Rahul taking to twitter urged Prime Minister Modi to take up the 'fuel challenge' and reduce the skyrocketing fuel prices.

"Dear PM, Glad to see you accept the @imVkohli fitness challenge. Here's one from me: Reduce Fuel prices or the Congress will do a nationwide agitation and force you to do so. I look forward to your response," he tweeted.

In recent days, petrol and diesel prices have surged to a record high, leaving the common man hassled. Currently, in Delhi, the petrol price is Rs. 77.47, while in Mumbai, it touched Rs 85.29 per litre.

Similarly, the diesel rates have also touched a high of Rs 68.53 and Rs 72.96 per litre in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively.

Following the hike in fuel prices workers of various opposition parties including Congress, All Assam Students' Union (AASU), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are staging protests in various parts of the country.

Analysts believe that the less production of oil in the OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and hike in crude oil price in the international market are some of the factors affecting the fuel price.

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