Petrol, diesel, LPG price hike soon

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New Delhi, May 30: The government has, in principle, decided to increase prices of petrol by Rs 2 per litre, diesel by Re 1 per litre and cooking gas by Rs 20 per cylinder but will try and push for a higher raise at Saturday"s Cabinet meeting. The petroleum ministry has been pushing for a Rs 10 per litre hike in petrol prices, Rs 5 a litre for diesel, and Rs 50 per LPG (cooking gas) cylinder.

In the absence of a hike, oil companies like HPCL and BPCL would run out of cash to import crude in the next two months, while Indian Oil Corp has said it would run out of money for buying crude by September-end.The hike pushed for by the petroleum ministry would only help curtail the estimated Rs 225,000 crore (Rs 2,250 billion) revenue losses of oil companies this fiscal.

The companies, at present, are selling petrol at a discount of Rs 16.34 a litre, diesel at a loss of Rs 23.49 per litre, LPG cylinder at a loss of Rs 305.9 and kerosene at a discount of Rs 28.72 per litre. Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum currently lose close to Rs 580 crore (Rs 5.80 billion) per day on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene as they have been barred from raising prices in line with rise in cost.

Crude prices have more than doubled since February when petrol price was hiked by Rs 2 per litre and diesel by Re 1 per litre. Early this month, the prices breached $135 a barrel mark.

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