In A Recent turn, the international crude oil prices are soaring currently but the phenomenon seems to have little effect on fuel prices in India due to the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections. In the last one month, petrol prices have largely remained stable while international crude prices jumped by seven per cent per barrel. A TOI report quoting MCX data says, “a barrel of crude oil jumped Rs 326 between March 26 and April 22. While one barrel of crude oil cost Rs 4,131, it increased to Rs 4,457 on April 22. However, petrol price hovered between Rs 75.67 and Rs 75.71 a litre during the same period at fuel stations in Chennai, recording only a marginal revision in prices.”
To be noted that diesel rates were fluctuating between Rs 70.26 and Rs 70.17 per litre at fuel stations in the city. The reason for fluctuating international crude price is the United States. US President Donald Trump has lifted waivers granted to eight countries, including India, on importing oil from Iran, alleging that Iran is a sponsor of terrorism, hence imposing sanctions on countries importing oil from there. Starting May 2, India will not be able to import oil from Iran as a result of fresh US order.
However it is worth mention here that Prices in Indian remaining stable are unusual in comparison to the past, when fuel prices witnessed an increase by 50 paise to Rs 1 on a frequent basis. The government was subjected to severe criticism and there was a massive public outcry. Last year, during Karnataka polls, petrol and diesel prices remain unchanged for 19 days despite fluctuations in global crude prices. However, soon after the polling was over, the fuel prices rose rapidly. The same trend has been observed in different states such as Gujarat in the past. Therefore, it's safe to assume that Indians may face a massive surge in petrol and diesel prices once the Lok Sabha elections conclude on May 23.