IOC slashes domestic jet fuel prices by 4.4%

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New Delhi, June 5 (UNI) State-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) today said it has slashed the prices of domestic jet fuel by 4.3 to 4.4 per cent on account of reduction in custom duty.

''We have cut the prices of domestic jet fuel by 4.3-4.4 per cent,'' said a company source.

In Delhi, the jet fuel will cost Rs 66,226.66 per kilolitre, down Rs 3,000.42 per kilolitre, while in Mumbai the price has been cut by 4.36% to Rs 68,626.87 per kilolitre.

In Kolkata, the price has been slashed by Rs 3152.49 to Rs73,473.19 per kilolitre, whereas Chennai has to pay Rs 72,363.58 per kilolitre, down Rs 3239.41 per kilolitre from Rs 75602.99 per kilolitre.

The government yesterday cut the custom duty on petroleum products to five per cent from 10 per cent to ease the losses of the state oil companies.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister on June 11 to apprise him of the sector's travails and seek lower duty incidence on ATF.

ATF accounts for over 40 per cent of the operating cost of an airline and, between June 2005 and now, ATF prices have risen by more than 130 per cent.

According to estimates, the industry is faced with an additional operating cost of 1.2 billion dollars this fiscal owing to the spike in ATF prices.

Airlines in the country have suffered a staggering loss of Rs 4,000 crore in 2007-08, and the figure is expected to double in the current fiscal depending on which way fuel prices are headed.

Even as the airlines deal with the rising cost of ATF, many are considering reduing the number of flights to take care of the mounting losses.

Airlines have already informed the ministry that they are left with no option but to reduce domestic flights by as much as 20 per cent.

UNI MP SR RN1554

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