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Deora meets FM, to meet PM tomorrow

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 11 (UNI) The crucial meeting between Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Finance Minister P Chidamabaram today remained inconclusive over the decision to hike the prices of petrol and petroleum products.

Mr Deora is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow.

Sources said that Mr Chidambaram will not yield to any cut in duties on petro products, as suggested by ruling UPAs Left allies, to neutralise the effect of surging global oil prices.

Last evening the Petroleum Ministry had said that it wanted to increase prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene by Rs 5 per litre each and LPG by Rs 50 per cyclinder with the Left parties saying that they would oppose any such move.

The Ministry, in a presentation yesterday to the Left parties, said that in the present situation, there is a need of increasing petrol prices by Rs 9.33, diesel by Rs 10.43, Kerosene by Rs 17.16 and LPG by Rs 114.45. But after sharing the burden between the stakeholders (oil sector, government and consumers) the increase can be only by Rs 5 for petrol, diesel and kerosene and for LPG, Rs 50 per cylinder only, it said.

After the meeting, CPM leaders Sitaram Yechury and Basudev Acharaya said the government should rationalise the duty structure on petroleum products. Mr Yechury said import duty on crude oil should be totally abolished.

The presentation pointed out that the Rangarajan Committee on petroleum price review also recommended a Rs 75 hike for LPG cylinders and restriction of kerosene subsidy to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The committee was not in favour of putting the subsidy burden on oil companies. It should be fulfilled from budget provisions or by raising cess on indigenous crude oil production, the committee had said.


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