Amid rising fuel prices, Uttar Pradesh Minister Upendra Tiwari on Thursday said only a handful of people use four-wheelers and need petrol. 95 per cent of people don't need petrol, he added.
"Only a handful of people use 4-wheelers & need petrol. 95% of people don't need petrol. Over 100 cr vaccine doses were administered free of cost to people...If you compare (fuel price) to per capita income, prices are very low now," news agency ANI quoted Tiwari as saying.
Meanwhile, petrol and diesel prices on Thursday were hiked by 35 paise per litre each, the second consecutive day of increase that took pump rates across the country to record high levels.
The price of petrol in Delhi rose to its highest-ever level of Rs 106.54 a litre and Rs 112.44 per litre in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
In Mumbai, diesel now comes for Rs 103.26 a litre; while in Delhi, it costs Rs 95.27 per litre.
This is the second consecutive day of price hike. There was no change in rates on October 18 and 19, prior to which prices were hiked by 35 paise per litre each on four straight days.
While petrol has already hit the Rs 100-a-litre mark or more in all major cities of the country, diesel has touched that level in over a dozen states and is treading towards that mark in places from Srinagar to Chennai.
Diesel costs Rs 99.14 a litre in Srinagar while it is priced at Rs 99.59 in Chennai.
The costliest fuel was in the border town of Ganganagar in Rajasthan, where petrol comes for Rs 118.59 a litre and diesel for Rs 109.41 per litre.
Since the ending of a three-week-long hiatus in rate revision in the last week of September, this is the 18th increase in petrol price and the 21st time that diesel rates have gone up.
Prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes.
International benchmark Brent crude on Thursday was trading above USD 85 per barrel, USD 11 more than last month.
Being a net importer of oil, India prices petrol and diesel at rates equivalent to international prices.
The surge in international oil prices ended a three-week hiatus in rate revision on September 28 for petrol and September 24 for diesel.
Since then, the diesel rate has gone up by Rs 6.85 per litre and the petrol price has increased by Rs 5.35 a litre.
Prior to that, the petrol price was increased by Rs 11.44 a litre between May 4 and July 17. Diesel rate had gone up by Rs 9.14 per litre during this period.
(With PTI inputs)