No cut in domestic fuel prices now : Deora

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Vadodara, Oct 5 (UNI) Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora today ruled out any cut in the price of domestic fuel despite the current drop in global crude oil prices.

''Even as the crude oil price had come down to 95 dollars per barrel, it was too high for the Indian oil companies, who have suffered an estimated loss of about Rs 160,000 crore till date,'' Mr Deora told a press conference here.

The only exception was the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), which had gained profit out of the present oil price hike, the minister said.

Earlier, addressing the chief executives of all PSU oil companies and petroleum dealers of Gujarat here, Deora said the projected under-recoveries on sale of petroleum products for 2008-09 were now estimated at Rs 171,000 crore.

He said the losses which the country's navratna oil manufacturing companies were incurring now was unprecedented in history. At present, the estimated per litre loss is Rs5 in petrol, Rs.11.50 in diesel, Rs 30 in subsidised kerosene and Rs 300 per domestic LPG cylinder. But his ministry was making every effort to insulate the common man from the volatility of global crude oil prices.

The petroleum minister claimed that India was the only country where kerosene is supplied to vulnerable sections at Rs.9 per litre, which is far cheaper than a bottle of mineral water.

The minister, who earlier in the day attended an ONGC function at Cambay near Anand, organised to mark the energy major's 50th year of first oil discovery at Lunej, also asserted that all genuine needs of energy in India would be met despite the present crisis and his departmental activities would continue to expand as per targeted schedule.

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