The Competition Commission of India (CCI)has started investigation into alleged cartelisation by oil marketing companies in fixing petrol prices.

The Director-General, the investigation arm of the CCI, is probing the issue.

Without divulging specific details, a senior CCI official said: “The Director-General is investigating the case.’’

This move follows the Petroleum Ministry clarifying that it is not responsible for pricing of petrol since it is deregulated.

Earlier, the Commission had written to the Petroleum Ministry to ascertain whether the pricing by companies is done in a particular manner under the guidance of the Ministry, since petrol prices are almost close to each other, and they moved up or down at the same point in time.

“They (Petroleum Ministry) have given us a reply, which clearly indicates that they are in no way responsible. On petrol, which is deregulated, they said, whatever is done is being done on the basis of some pricing formula. It is not our concern, that is what the Petroleum Ministry has said,” Commission Chairman Ashok Chawla had said in January.

The Commission refers cases to the Director-General only when it is convinced that there is prima facie evidence of violating competition norms.

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