No question of rolling back fuel price hike: Pranab Mukherjee

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Kolkata, Jun 14 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today ruled out any possibility of rolling back the fuel price hike and said the Centre had no option to cover up the losses due to the rise of international crude prices.

''There is no question of rolling back the increased fuel prices.

The prices have been raised following the massive under-recoveries suffered by oil marketing companies,'' the minister told reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural session of the Annual General Meeting of Merchants' Chamber of Commerce.

He said when the UPA Government assumed office four years ago, the international price of crude was USD 34 per barrel, but now it had increased to USD 139.

As a result of the price rise in the international market, the domestic oil marketing companies were making huge losses which touched Rs 2.25 lakh crore in the fourth year from Rs 40,000 crore in the first year, he said.

''There was no way to fund this except by raising the price of petro-products in the domestic market,'' he said.

Mr Mukherjee, however, admitted that the measure would have an inflationary effect on the country.

UNI KDG DPM AB 1612

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