Rising crude oil prices 'disturbing', says Pranab
New Delhi: Describing the surge in crude oil prices a 'disturbing trend', Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Tuesday said it is too early to say what its impact will be on the economy.
"(Rise in prices of) crude, of course, is disturbing fact, no doubt. It will be too premature to say what would be the adverse impact on what sector...," he told reporters here.
The crude oil prices in the international market surged recently following tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.
Meanwhile, Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy had said India is not facing any external pressure on buying crude oil from Iran and will abide by UN sanctions only, not those imposed by any bloc of nations.
Rejecting US and European sanctions against Iran, he had said, "We respect UN sanctions but will not honour any other sanction.
"We have cordial relations with Iran and we continue to import oil from them," he said.
The US has imposed sanctions that deny access to the US financial system to any foreign bank that conducts business with the central bank of Iran.
The Brent crude for April delivery was trading at USD 123.75 in morning trade in the international market.
With hardening of crude price, there is widespread speculation that petrol and possibly diesel prices are likely to be hiked by Rs 2-4 per litre once Assembly Elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, are completed this week.
State-owned oil companies are losing about Rs 4 per litre on petrol, industry officials said.
Oil firms had last revised petrol prices on December 1.