New Delhi, June 4 : A Cabinet meeting will be held here today to decide on increasing the prices of fuel, which has now become almost inevitable due to the continuous rise in international crude oil prices.
On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) meeting would aim to agree upon the need for raising the petrol, diesel and domestic LPG prices. If the CCPA arrives at a consensus, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) may be called.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday had expressed the inability of his Government to neutralise the impact of international crude prices on the country and said that the burden of soaring international fuel prices will have to be passed on to the consumers.
Dr. Singh had pondered over the possible oil price hike last week with senior ministers and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, but no significant conclusion could be reached.
Indian oil companies have been bearing the brunt of the surge in global oil prices and have recorded a Rs 2,25,040 crore revenue deficit with the Central Government grappling to find ways to bail out the cash-strapped oil companies and to keep the common man happy in an electorally important year.
Petroleum Minister Murli Deora who has been advocating a Rs 10 a litre hike in petrol, Rs 5 per litre increase in diesel and Rs 50 per cylinder raise in LPG prices will present his side in the cabinet.
However, the price hike may be limited to Rs 3, 5 or 7 a litre on petrol and Rs 2, 3 or 4 a litre on diesel. LPG prices may be raised by Rs 20 per 14.2-kg cylinder, sources said.