New Delhi: The government will consider a cut in fuel prices if crude oil prices stabilise at levels where losses of oil companies are lower, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said today.
“Prime Minister has said we cannot reduce prices now because the oil companies are losing heavily,” Deora said.
Deora wanted losses to come down further and crude prices to stabilise before considering a price cut.
On his way back from his maiden three-day visit to the Gulf, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had yesterday said that the government will wait till public sector oil companies break-even on fuel sales before considering slashing fuel prices.
International crude oil prices have slid from an all-time high of $147 to $60 a barrel, but public sector oil companies continue to make losses on sale of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene.
Oil firms make a profit of Rs4.12 a litre on petrol but lose Rs0.96 on every litre of diesel, Rs22.40 per litre on kerosene and Rs343.49 per LPG cylinder.
State-run refiner IOC posted its largest-ever net loss of Rs7,047.13 crore in July-September quarter.
BPCL posted a net loss of Rs2,625.17 crore in the second quarter on top of Rs1,066.70 crore in April-June, while HPCL reported a loss of Rs888.12 crore in Q1 and another Rs3,218.92 crore in Q2.