Govt to meet OMCs, domestic airlines tmrw on jet fuel dues

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) Petroleum Minister Murli Deora today said the government will meet state-run oil marketing companies and domestic airlines tomorrow to reach a solution on aviation turbine fuel bills overduing to the amount of Rs 2,000 crore.

''We are meeting tomorrow...I hope we will find a solution.

Our oil companies are doing their best to help them,'' Mr Deora told mediapersons here on the sidelines of a conference.

He informed that Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel will also attend.

ATF makes up 30 to 45 per cent of a domestic airline's operating cost.

He said almost all the airlines have failed to pay their dues.

''If you make a commitment, you must pay, but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't help the airlines.'' The present volatility in the global economy has also affected India and though the government is trying its best to overcome the present difficult times, ''it is the duty of each one of us to use the hydrocarbon fuels prudently and in most efficient way,'' he said.

''Unless we adopt such technologies which help us to increase fuel efficiency leading to conservation of the fuels, it would be enormously difficult for us to sustain this level of growth,'' he said.

For oil and gas sector, the present time is certainly both ''challenging and demanding'', he said.

''Our country has been witnessing a growth rate of over eight per cent over a period. This has led to increase in energy demand it cannot be sustained unless we adopt better technologies and rational approach in use of hydrocarbon fuels.'' He, however, ruled out an immediate reduction in petrol, diesel and domestic LPG prices in step with softening of international oil prices.

''You will have to wait for that...For now, no cut in fuel prices is under consideration,'' he said.

He said a price reduction may be considered if crude oil falls to 61 dollars per barrel.

The Minister said the high crude oil prices in recent past, particularly in the last two years, have severely impacted national economy.

Inspite of fall in prices of crude oil, the under-recoveries of the OMCs are still very high due to weakening of rupee.

As on date, the under-recoveries of the state-run OMCs on petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG amongst to more than Rs 1,50,000 crore.

Out of this, the under-recovery on diesel alone is about Rs 1,00,000 crore, he added.

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