Ahead of a meeting of key ministers to discuss the falling rupee and the nation’s widening trade deficit, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said India is facing an “economic crisis” due to its huge oil imports; as reported by local TV channels.
India, the world’s third biggest oil importer, depends on overseas markets to meet 80 per cent of its oil needs.
The partially convertible rupee has lost about 13 per cent against the dollar since the beginning of the year, adding to the nation’s oil import bill at a time when crude is hovering at around $85 a barrel.
Fuel prices on Thursday saw a steep rise in many parts of the country today, burning a hole in the common man’s pocket.
Continuing the upward trend, petrol price in the national capital witnessed a fresh hike of 15 paise and is being sold at Rs 84 per litre. The cost of diesel was also hiked by 20 paise with the price per litre reaching Rs 75.45.
In Mumbai, petrol is being retailed at Rs 91.32 a litre and diesel at Rs 80.10 per litre after being hiked by 14 paise and 21 paise, respectively.
Meanwhile, the rupee collapsed to a fresh low of 73.77 against the US dollar Thursday, as global oil prices continued to rise, deepening concerns about the current account deficit and capital outflows. Consistent dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, following higher crude oil prices, kept the rupee under pressure.
Besides, state-owned oil marketing companies have been allowed to raise USD 10 billion from overseas market to meet their working capital needs.