NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India, the world's fourth largest oil consumer, may cut petrol prices if global crude oil eases further, Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said on Monday.
"If prices globally come down sharply, and in a stable way, naturally the price of petrol will be adjusted downwards," Reddy told reporters. "The softening trend must be stable."
India last year gave oil companies the freedom to fix petrol prices. In June, when the country changed taxes, bringing local petrol prices on par with market rates, Brent crude was trading at about $106 a barrel, almost the same level as Monday's prices.
Reddy said Monday's decline in global oil prices was still not enough for India to implement a cut in domestic pump prices.
Oil dropped more than 3 percent, as worries about an economic slowdown spread after Standard & Poor's cut the United States' top-tier credit rating late on Friday.
"Our (assumption) was that oil prices for the year would be $100 per barrel. That level has not been reached," Reddy said.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee)