Govt issues Rs 11,256.92 cr bonds to OMCs

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (UNI) The government today issued bonds worth Rs 11,256.92 crore to three state run oil marketing companies (OMCs) to partly compensate their mounting losses due to spiralling global oil prices.

The Indian Oil Corporation will receive the '7.95 per cent OMCs Special Bonds, 2025' for Rs 6,362.25 crore and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) for Rs 2,539.13 crore, while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) for Rs 2,355.54 crore, an official statement said here.

These government-owned OMCs are projected to incur a loss of Rs 69,753 crore on sale of petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene as the government has not allowed them to raise prices in line with the cost of imported crude.

Petrol is being sold at a loss of Rs 8.74 a litre, diesel at Rs 9.92 per litre, kerosene Rs 20.53 a litre and LPG at a loss of Rs 256.35 per cylinder.

The Indian basket of crude oil touched an all time high of 100 dollars a barrel on January 3, 2008 and the oil marketing companies are expected to close the fiscal with a total loss of Rs 69,753 crore.

The government is also considering a hike in fuel prices and the Group of Ministers (GoM) will meet soon send their recomendations on the issue.

Earlier in the day, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told reporters, ''We will ensure that the price hike is minimal so that the consumers do not complain and the oil marketing companies do not suffer heavy losses." He added that the global crude prices have already crossed the 100 dollars a barrel.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had to consider a proposal by the oil marketing companies (OMCs) which reportedly called for an increase of Rs 4 and Rs 2 a litre respectively in the prices of petrol and diesel.

UNI MP/RT SBA KP2034

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