New Delhi: State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has kept prices of transport fuel unchanged since April 24, temporarily suspending the dynamic pricing regime and despite a rise in international rates, to avoid panic among consumers, IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of the launch of bids for City Gas Distribution (CGD) licenses, Singh said the decision is based on the belief that current global prices "are not supported by fundamentals."
"We have decided to temporarily moderate retail prices by not passing on the required increase as we believe the current international oil product prices are not supported by fundamentals. So we have decided to wait for a while," Singh said.
"Passing them on to consumers will unnecessarily create panic," he said.
The price of petrol per litre, on Tuesday, was Rs 74.63 and diesel was at Rs 65.93 -- rates of both have remained unchanged since April 24.
On that day, domestic retail petrol prices which had been rising for six consecutive days touched the highest in Delhi since September 14, 2013 when it reached Rs 76.06 a litre.
The price of the Indian basket of crude oils, composed of 70 per cent sour grade Oman and Dubai crudes and the rest by sweet grade Brent, has gone upwards of $70 a barrel last month.
Singh said it was a mere coincidence that the spike in international rates and the company's decision to put a lid on prices comes just ahead of the assembly elections in Karnataka on May 12.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters at the event that the government had no role in the pricing of petrol and diesel by companies.