New Delhi, May 31: The core group of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government met on Friday evening to review the options available to the Government to tackle the spurt in global crude prices, but it is not clear if a price hike will be taken by the Cabinet today.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, comprising of the core group, deliberated over the options on Friday evening. The core group didn't comment on the issue. However, there is a possibility of price hike, raising petrol price by Rs 3, 4, 5 or 7 a litre and diesel by Rs 1, 2, 3 and 4 per litre. Besides, a Rs 20 per cylinder hike in domestic LPG price may also be proposed.
The current petrol price is Rs 48.22 (Premium) and Rs 45.22 (Normal). Diesel is priced at Rs 33.05 currently.
Crude petroleum prices have gone up four times in the last five years, eleven times in nine years and doubled in the last year. The cost of a barrel of oil has increased like never before and it appears it will increase further.
On Friday US crude climbed to 127.90 Dollar a barrel, while London Brent to 128.48 Dollar a barrel.
The Prime Minister had multiple brainstorming sessions with the core group on ways to curtail the projected Rs 225,000 crore revenue loss on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene this fiscal.
Sonia Gandhi, the UPA Chairperson was also consulted on Thursday.