New Delhi: The Government of India is ready to take all appropriate action, as deemed fit, for mitigating market volatility and calming the rise in crude oil prices, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli said on Thursday. The Minister said this, while replying to a written question in the Lok Sabha. The Ministry was asked whether the Government has foreseen any upsurge in the prices of petrol, diesel and domestic cooking gas due to prevailing international oil prices and also due to the fallout of Russia-Ukraine war. “The geo-political situation between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in steep increase in global crude oil and gas prices. The Government of India is closely monitoring global energy markets as well as potential energy supply disruptions as a fall-out of the evolving geopolitical situation,” Teli said. “The Government of India is ready to take all appropriate action, as deemed fit, for mitigating market volatility and calming the rise in crude oil prices,” he added. The Minister said in November 2021, in a bid to control inflationary pressures, the Government of India, in consultation and parallelly with major energy consumers, had agreed to release five million barrels from its Strategic Petroleum Reserves. The Minister also said to ensure security of crude supplies and to mitigate the risk of dependence on crude oil from a single region, Oil Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) have diversified their petroleum basket and are procuring crude from countries located at various geographical locations like the Middle East, Africa, North America and South America. Talking about the pricing of petrol, diesel and gas, he said prices of petrol have been market-determined since June 26, 2010 and diesel since October 19, 2014. “Since then, the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) take appropriate decisions on pricing of petrol and diesel in line with their international product prices, exchange rate, tax structure, inland freight and other cost elements. For Domestic LPG, the Government continues to modulate the effective prices to consumer,” he said. Teli also mentioned that the Central Government reduced the Central Excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 per litre, respectively, effective from November 4, 2021. “The measure was aimed to give a further fillip to the economy and to boost consumption and keep inflation low, thus helping the poor and the middle class. Following this reduction in Central Excise duty, many States/UTs have also reduced VAT on petrol and diesel subsequently,” he said.