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No proposal to hike petrol prices yet, Deora

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 10 (UNI) Petroleum Minister Murli Deora today said there is no proposal to hike the prices of petrol and diesel yet and any decision would be taken only after the meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram slated for tomorrow.

After a detailed presentation to the left party leaders, who are opposing any move by the government to hike the prices of petroleum products, Mr Deora said clarifications were given in prices of these products in the neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Speaking after the meeting with left leaders, Mr Deora said oil companies are bleeding with underecoveries hovering around Rs 73,500 crore.

How to address these issues and several suggestions were sought from the left party leaders, Mr Deora said.

Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) leader said after the meeting, that the government should rationalise taxes after the dismantling of the Administered Price Mechanism (APM) prices.

Mr Yechury said there was a decision that taxes would be rationalised but that was not been done.

The left parties are opposed to any move to hike oil prices.

saying the government should consider reducing excise and custom levies on petroleum products to mitigate the effect of surging international prices.

''It will be our endeavor not to hike prices particularly of cooking gas and kerosene as these are used by poor strata of the society and common man,'' the petroleum minister had said on Tuesday.

Mr Deora said that his ministry was studying the report of Rangarajan Committee on the petroleum product pricing.

It is excepted that during the meeting with Finance Minister, the Petroleum Ministry is expected to seek a cut in import and excise duties and raising of subsidies on cooking fuel as measures to help oil firms.

On the cards is a Rs 2-3 per litre hike in petrol and diesel prices and Rs 15-20 increase per LPG cylinder, but a decision would be taken only after consultations with allies including the Left, sources said.

State-owned oil retailing firms are losing Rs 9.34 per litre on selling petrol below the imported cost while the loss on diesel was Rs 10.43 a litre. Kerosene was being sold at a loss of Rs 16.78 per litre and LPG at Rs 220 per cylinder.

State-run Indian petroleum refiners have been unable to raise government-capped retail fuel prices since September last year, despite the surge in global crude oil prices which crossed 75 dollars per barrel.

UNI/RT RA PC2002

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