T K Nair meets oil PSUs; govt working on fuel price hike

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New Delhi, May 23 (UNI) Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister T K A Nair this evening had a meeting with Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan, top bureaucrats of the Finance Ministry and chiefs of oil marketing companies (OMCs) to thrash out a solution on increasing petroleum prices, even as Mr Srinivasan indicated that the hike in retail prices is inevitable.

The meeting which lasted nearly half an hour in the PMO discussed a multi-pronged strategy to bail out the OMCs and put as low as possible a burden on the consumers.

None of the people who participated in the discussions offered to comment as to what transpired at the meeting.

Apart from Finance Secretary D Subbarao, the meeting was also attended by Revenue Secretary P V Bhide.

Earlier in the day, Mr Srinivasan had a meeting with the heads of the public sector oil firms which are posting huge losses from selling heavily subsidised petrol, diesel, Kerosene and LPG.

The Petroleum Secretary told reporters here that a price hike was ''inevitable'' to bail out government-run oil PSUs.

He, however, said the specific quantity of price increase was still being work out.

''The situation is getting to be alarming. We need to stem the rot in the beginning,'' Mr Srinivasan said.

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