Oil cos push for over Rs 5 per litre hike in petrol price

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Petrol price hike
New Delhi, Mar 6: With electioneering in five states coming to an end, state-owned oil companies are pushing for raising petrol price by over Rs 5 per litre but the actual increase would depend on the government nod.

"We are losing Rs 5.10 per litre on petrol currently," a senior oil company official said. "With counting for Assembly elections in five states ending today, we would be approaching the government for appropriate directions on price revision."

Oil firms had last revised petrol prices on December 1 after which rates have not been changed because of Assembly elections in states like Uttar Pradesh.

IndianOil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum together have lost over Rs 900 crore since the last revision which was done at international gasoline price (the benchmark for deciding domestic retail rates) of USD 109 per barrel. Gasoline rates have since risen to USD 130.71 a barrel.

"In all probability, petrol price will be increased but by how much is for the government to decide," the official said.

With Congress faring poorly in the Assembly polls, it remains to be seen if the UPA-government would give nod for an increase just ahead of the Budget session of Parliament which begins on March 12.

Oil firms also want an increase in diesel and cooking gas prices but that call would have to be taken by an Empowered Group of Ministers, where key allies like Trinamool Congress and DMK are represented. Mamata Banerjee-led TMC is opposed to any fuel price hike.

State-owned oil firms lose Rs 13.55 per litre on diesel. They also lose Rs 29.97 a litre on kerosene and Rs 439 per 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.

Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum are losing about Rs 450 crore per day on sale of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene. Officials said the call on raising diesel prices would be taken by the EGoM as and when it meets while petrol rates would be revised by oil firms themselves.

Petrol price were freed from government control in June 2010 but rates have not moved in tandem with imported cost.

While petrol price were last revised on December 1 when they were cut by Rs 0.78 per litre to Rs 65.64 per litre in Delhi, diesel currently costs Rs 40.91 a litre.

PTI

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