Early New Year gift; petrol prices slashed by Rs 2.22/litre

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New Delhi, Nov 16: With varied reports emerging on the price slash for petrol giving much relief for the aam aadmi, the news was welcomed when petrol prices were slashed by Rs 2.22 a litre. This is the first such move in nearly three years. The happiness could be short-lived with indications that there might be a hike in as early as December this year.

Considered a clear move to avoid the issue from dominating the winter session in Parliament, the Opposition and other allies cried foul on the double standards of the Centre. It also faces severe flak for deregulating petrol prices giving the oil companies complete power to decide on the price for petrol.

Petrol will now cost Rs 66.42 per litre from midnight of Wednesday in Delhi against the current rate of Rs 68.64 a litre, revealed the three top oil companies in the country. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman R S Butola has been quoted as saying, "We had gained Rs 1.85 per litre (excluding all taxes) since the last price revision because of a fall in global oil rates and a marginal appreciation in rupee value. We are passing this on to consumers."

A statement by IOC read, "In keeping with this practice, IOC has reviewed the pricing cycle as prevalent in the last fortnight. The review reveals that at the current prices, there will be an over-recovery of Rs 1.85 per litre. It has, therefore, been decided to revise the petrol prices downward by Rs 1.85 (excluding state taxes and levies) with effect from November 16."

The top oil companies; IOC, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum reviews petrol prices on a fortnightly basis. With the issue of the losses incurred to the oil companies still prevalent, the case has been sidelined after the considerable increase in petrol prices. The three oil marketing companies together stand to lose a staggering Rs 130,000 crore in 2011-12 fiscal.

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