The decision was taken after Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora last evening.The government has come under tremendous pressure from the state-run Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to raise fuel prices to offset the impact of skyrocketing crude prices. The Petroleum Ministry has been demanding customs and excise duty cuts. Earlier, Deora met Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, but could not convince him of the urgency to cut import and excise duties to avoid the Rs 2,00,000 crore revenue loss expected on petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene this fiscal.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) can buy crude oil only till July while Indian Oil can afford imports till September. The three firms face huge liquidity crisis as they fail to recover full value of the products sold.