GoM on fuel prices postponed by 2 weeks: Deora

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New Delhi, Dec 13: The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to look into pricing of petroleum products has once again been postponed by two weeks, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said today.

''The meeting of the ministerial panel may take place in the next 10-12 days,'' Mr Deora told reporters here today. The Minister refused to give the reason behind postponement. The meeting was supposed to be held tomorrow on a possible hike in the fuel prices to partly offset the mounting losses incurred by the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) in the face of spiralling global crude prices.

OMCs such as Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum are together losing over Rs 250 crore per day on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic cooking gas LPG and kerosene.

Petrol is being sold at a loss of Rs 8.74 a litre, diesel at Rs 9.92 per litre, kerosene Rs 20.53 a litre and LPG at a loss of Rs 256.35 per cylinder.

The annualised under-recoveries of the public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) are expected to be about Rs 69,700 crore during 2007-08, Mr Deora said last evening while Chairing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry.

The high-powered GoM was formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh late last month which is to report back to the Cabinet in a month's time.

The other members of the GoM include Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister T R Baalu, Consumer Affairs Minister Sharad Pawar and the Petroleum Minister.


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