Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Petroleum Minister, on Tuesday said that prices of petrol and diesel will go down further in the coming days, as the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is scheduled to meet on July 1 to increase production bringing the cost down.

The minister also said the Modi government was keen to protect the interest of consumers.

After touching the high of Rs 78.43 in Delhi and Rs 86.24 in Mumbai on May 29, the petrol prices have started stabilising on the back of decline in crude oil prices due to increase in supply. The oil marketing companies’ decreased petrol prices for the sixth consecutive day today at Rs 75.55 in Delhi, Rs 78.23 in Kolkata, Rs 83.12 in Mumbai and Rs 78.40 in Chennai.

Diesel prices also declined to Rs 67.38 in Delhi, Rs 69.93 in Kolkata, Rs 71.52 in Mumbai and Rs 71.12 in Chennai. Fuel prices have again started declining after prices got frozen cost for few days in between. From June 15 to June 18 there was no cut in fuel prices with petrol remaining at Rs 76.35 in Delhi and Rs 84.18 in Mumbai during the period.

The petrol showed a decline of nearly 18 paise per litre in Mumbai, while diesel prices got slashed by 14 paise on Tuesday. In Delhi, the cut was lesser at 14 paise in petrol prices and 1 paise in diesel prices.

The Central government received a lot of flak recently when petrol prices rose sharply on the back of rising in crude oil prices. There was a demand to reduce exorbitant central and state taxes on the fuel making it very expensive compared to other countries. Union minister Arun Jaitley recently stated in one of his blogs that any cuts in excise duty on petrol and diesel as demanded by opposition parties could push India in a debt trap.

In the long run, the government intends to bring petroleum products under the goods and services tax (GST) regime to have greater control over fuel prices. Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan earlier, said, “For long-term solutions, the government of India is planning for a holistic strategy. Bringing petroleum products within the ambit of GST is one among them.