Government grappling with rising crude prices

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) With global crude oil prices nudging towards 100 dollars per barrel, the government is toying with several options to offset the growing losses of oil marketing companies including a hike in fuel prices.

The picture is expected to be clear this week when Petroleum Minister Murli Deora is slated to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The government is grappling with four options which include raising the fuel prices, duty cut, issuing more oil bonds through the finance ministry and less dependency on imports.

Late last Friday oil prices shot to record closing on concern about the weak dollar and tight global energy supplies heading into the northern hemisphere winter.

New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, soared 4.40 dollars to a record closing high of 95.93 dollars a barrel.

In his second meeting in two days last week, Mr Deora expressed his concern about the global oil prices that topped 96 dollars a barrel and which has impacted Indian oil marketing companies.

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