India seeks to reassure markets on deregulation of fuel prices


NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India on Saturday sought to assure investors that the government would not go back to regulating fuel prices, a day after oil company shares tumbled on concerns about a return to a regime that has hurt their profits in the past.

The government said on Thursday it was cutting gasoline and diesel by 2.50 rupees per liter to help Indians struggling to pay fuel prices that had climbed on the back of a rise in global crude prices and a weakening rupee.

The move was seen as a reversal of a 2014 decision to scrap regulated fuel prices – a regime that was blamed for deterring state oil marketing firms from expanding and for choking off investment in domestic oil fields by India’s biggest oil producer.

“Let me categorically assure all that there is no going back on deregulation of oil prices,” India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) post on Saturday.

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