Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said in the Lok Sabha that in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war, petrol prices in India have gone up by merely 5 per cent as against over 50 per cent in some of the developed countries.
Intervening in the short duration discussion in the Upper House on 'Situation in Ukraine', the minister rejected the Opposition's charge that Operation Ganga was 'operation transport' and not 'operation evacuation'.
The minister, who was one of the special envoys sent to countries bordering Ukraine to coordinate evacuation of Indians from the war-torn nation, said the Indian government did organise buses in Ukraine to transport stranded students to bordering countries in the last stages of Operation Ganga and that cannot be dismissed as 'operation transport'.
Referring to rising petrol prices, the minister said, "We are not the only country impacted by the war." The Russia-Ukraine war has affected the entire world, he added.
Citing figures, the minister said the increase in prices of petrol was very low in India as compared to developed and other developing nations in the aftermath of the war.
He said petrol prices have gone up by over 50 per cent in countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, and Sri Lanka. In case of India the increase worked out to be only 5 per cent, he added.
Puri also pointed out that the price of natural gas has shot up several times in the international market after the outbreak of the war.
The minister also refuted the Opposition's allegation that the advisory issued by the Indian mission to the students before the outbreak of the actual war was not clear and was ambiguous.
He said the advisory was very clear and advised the Indian students to leave the country and about 4,000 students actually left Ukraine before the outbreak of the war.
Many students opted to stay back, probably on the advice of the Ukrainian educational institutes that things would become normal, or due to fear of losing a year if they chose to leave, he said.
Later, under Operation Ganga, 18,000 stranded students were brought home from different nations bordering Ukraine, he said.
The Indian mission in Ukraine acted proactively by asking the students to get themselves registered before the actual war broke out.
Operation Ganga, he said, would be ranked among the most successful evacuation operations by any country, anywhere in the world.