“Our government has decided not to increase LPG and kerosene prices in the country. This will benefit the middle class people and those who use kerosene as cooking fuel,” he told reporters.
Pradhan, who was in Patna to attend the final day of the two-day BJP state executive meeting, however, said the petrol prices would move according to the prevalent market price mechanism.
“Petrol prices are linked directly to the market and they move accordingly. We faced some difficulty due to the Iraq issue and petrol prices went up a bit in the country,” he said.
The minister expressed the hope that there would be no “oil shock” in the future as the “rupee was appreciating under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it was a good indication”.
He said bulk diesel prices for railways, defence, industries and other big consumers were decreased by around a rupee after duties were reduced on it. Pradhan also said that the central government was planning to revive the fertiliser plants at Barauni (Bihar), Sindri (Jharkhand), Durgapur (West Bengal) and Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) as part of the Haldia (West Bengal)– Jagdhishpur (Uttar Pradesh) gas pipeline project.
“The Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) wanted two anchor customers for the gas pipeline project. We are considering providing them four in the form of these fertiliser plants. Our ministry and the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers are working on it,” he said.
The minister said the revival of the fertiliser plants would cost around Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 crore as the entire machinery in plants, which remained defunct for two or three years, needed to be replaced.