New Delhi: Government on 3 January said fuel price hike was not the only solution for reducing the losses faced by public sector oil firms, and that other options were being discussed.
“A GoM on fuel prices will meet shortly and will consider the other options,” Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told reporters here.
He said he had talks with Left leaders including Sitaram Yechury of CPI-M late last week. “The Left (parties) are very cooperative. They have said they will assist in finding a solution for the present crisis,” he said.
Crude oil prices touched an all-time high of $100 dollars a barrel on Wednesday in New York Mercantile Exchange, triggering fears of more under-recoveries by oil PSUs.
“Price hike is not the only solution. There are other options like excise duty cut that have been suggested by the Left. We’ve got to find the best solution,” Deora said.
Government would also focus on oil conservation as an answer to crude oil prices, he said.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum are projected to lose Rs69,753 crore on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and PDS kerosene, as the government has not allowed them to raise prices in line with the price of imported crude.
Petrol is being sold at a loss of Rs8.74 a litre, diesel at Rs9.92 per litre, kerosene Rs20.53 a litre and LPG at a loss of Rs256.35 per cylinder.
Meanwhile, Indian Oil Corporation on 3 January said it will sell bonds worth Rs2,000 crore this month to meet the shortfall in working capital. “The company was losing Rs165 crore per day on sale of petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene, and was facing a shortfall in working capital fund,” IOC chairman Sarthak Behuria said.