According to sources, the public sector firms have been told to cut petrol prices whenever there is a moderation in global crude prices – to balance the price hikes seen when crude oil prices shoot up.
Petrol prices were deregulated in June 2010 with the condition that the government retains the right to intervene in public interest. The prices have already been increased five times in 2011.
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According to speculation in the market, despite deregulation, oil firms have always hiked fuel prices in consultation with the government.
However, the government on its part has pleaded helplessness over the issue, citing global economic trends. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently said deregulation and decontrol was the direction that India should move in, a statement many believe indicated the deregulation of diesel prices soon.