Centre to increase petrol, diesel prices next weeks

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Coimbatore, Dec 21 (UNI) Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan today said the price of diesel and petrol would be increased minimally after the first week of January.

Talking to newspersons here, he said crude oil price had increased in the international market enormously and it was necessary to hike the price. The group of empowered ministers would take a final decision on the price hike at a meeting next month, he added.

Recalling a Supreme Court observation in 2004 that about 20 cities in the country were highly polluted, he said his ministry was taking all efforts to installing compressed natural gas filling station in those cities.

Replying to a question, he said the agreement on price for gas had been finalised with Iran and talks were going on with Pakistan for fixing entry fees.

From March next the works for laying the pipe line from Iran to India via Pakistan would begin, he added.

The international fluctuation on crude oil prices had caused an additional burden of Rs 49,000 crore to the Centre last year, he said, adding, this year's expected lost was Rs 75,000 crore.

On the shortage of LPG cylinders for domestic consumption, he said the government would introduce a mechanism to control misuse by the dealers.

UNI

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