CCPA gives nod to ''modest and marginal'' hike in prices of fuel

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) The Government today said after much deliberation the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs (CCPA) gave the nod for a ''modest and marginal'' hike in retail prices of petrol by Rs 2 per litre and diesel by Re one a litre.

''We tried our best not to increase, but due to spiralling crude prices which had gone up to 100 dollars, we have to save the oil marketing companies (OMCs) from near bankruptcy and the decision had to be taken, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said.

''I appeal to all to please cooperate with us. This is not an increase but a restoration of the price which we had initially reduced,'' Mr Deora said Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan said the under-recoveries for this year would be to the tune of Rs 71,800 crore.

''The under-recoveries could have been as high as Rs 90,000 crore but the dollar depreciation and a good refining margin has bought the figure down,'' Mr Srinivasan said.

He added that with six weeks left for a close of the fiscal year, the increase in price will translate to a Rs 840 crore to the topline of the OMCs or 1.2 per cent of total under-recovery.

The Secretary said the price revision next year can be much higher.

He said the actual under-recovery for 2006 was Rs 56,000 crore and the upstream contributed by way of subsidy sharing Rs 20,500 crore which contributed 26.3 per cent to under-recoveries.

The price revision gave a benefit of 7,100 crore which amounts to 12. 6 per cent of the under-recoveries, Mr Srinivasan said.

Bonds amounting to 42.7 per cent of under-recovery amounting to 24,000 crore has been issued while OMCs have absorbed 8.4 per cent or Rs 4,800 crore.

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