New Delhi: As the 2019 Lok Sabha elections close in, the BJP-led Centre is working hard on slashing petrol prices to unprecedented levels. The Modi government has called a high-level meeting of the top officials of petroleum companies next week to increase the blending of methanol in petrol from 10 to 15%.

If a consensus emerges, petrol prices may plummet soon, bringing relief to the public. Petrol might be retailed for a price close to Rs 60 per litre, the lowest since the BJP came to power.

The crucial meeting between the government and public sector companies to be held sometime next week would discuss the concerned proposal made by government think-tank NITI Aayog.

According to sources, the oil PSUs would have to make huge investments towards the modernisation of filling stations, popularly called pumps, as the extant facility allows for only 10% blending of methanol with petrol.

However, the burden, as well as the ball, shall fall in the court of the oil PSUs. Two weeks ago MyNation reported that the government was working on increasing methanol percentage in petrol so that prices could be brought down.

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The Modi dispensation has taken several steps to bring down petrol prices in the last two months, as prices dipped to around Rs 68 per litre from a whopping Rs 84 in October 2018 in New Delhi. 

Recently, NITI Aayog conducted a survey for the modernisation of petrol pumps to increase the percentage of blend ethanol in petrol. The report said companies could modernise pumps within 45 days. There was also no problem with availability of funds for the purpose. 

In the first phase, around 50,000 pumps would be modernised at the rate of Rs 5 lakh per pump.