No hike in LPG, Kerosene prices: Deora

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 20: Reiterating the Centre was not for any increase in the prices of petroleum products, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora today said his Ministry proposed to float oil bonds worth Rs 25,000 crore next week to cover the increased cost burden due to higher prices of crude in the international markets.

Addressing mediapersons after inaugurating the X1V Refinery Technology Meet at Kovalam, near here, he said the proposal would be placed before the Cabinet next week.

''In spite of rising crude oil prices, the government wants the additional cost is not passed on to the consumers and the common man.

''Eighty-five per cent of the increased cost burden could be compensated by floating the oil bonds,'' Mr Deora said.

On speculation of increase of petro product prices, he said ''at present there is no move to increase the price.'' ''The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government will try its best not to increase the prices, especially those of LPG and Kerosene,'' he said.

On the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Pipeline Project, Mr Deora said dialogue was on between the countries.

When asked if any country was opposing the move, he said, ''This is a very sensitive question and I cannot answer that.'' The Minister said the country would have a surplus of 92 million tonnes of petro products in 2012 which could be exported.

The present refining capacity of 149-million-tonne was much higher than the present consumption of 120 million tonne, he said and added the goal could be achieved with new refineries coming up and the modernisation of the existing ones.

''Though India is endowed with meagre crude oil reserves meeting less than 25 per cent of the annual requirement, the country is self sufficient and surplus in refining capacity to meet the increasing demand for petroleum products,'' he said.

On new ventures in natural gas exploration, he said certain blocks in Kerala had already been identified and there would be clear picture within a few months.

The meet is organised by the Centre for High Technology and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.


UNI

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