Crash in crude oil prices has further stretched depleted coffers of the state government with royalty revenue taking a sharp plunge. In the first three months of the current financial year, the royalty revenue from crude oil has declined to Rs 234 crore against Rs 958 crore compared to the same period last year.
Sources in the petroleum department said that crude oil falling to historic low levels of $18 per barrel and reduction in volume of production have eroded the earnings which the cash-strapped government needed badly.
In the financial year that ended March 2020, the government got only Rs 3,320 crore against a target of Rs 4,300 crore even though lower crude oil prices were not a factor. Officials attributed the drop to lax in not facilitating an acceleration in oil exploration.