New Delhi: The government is likely to take a view on raising petrol and diesel prices, which has been necessitated due to surge in cost of crude oil, after the current monsoon session of Parliament ends in mid-September.
“Don’t expect any decision before 14 September (when monsoon session of Parliament ends),” a top petroleum ministry official, who wished not to be identified, said.
The Petroleum Ministry, he said, had not mooted any increase in fuel prices and it was entirely for the political leadership of the country to take a view.
“We have presented the basic facts — Rs190 crore a day loss by public sector oil firms on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic cooking gas LPG and kerosene; Rs52,162 crore under-realisation expected on fuel sale this fiscal and the quantum of oil bonds needed to tied over the crisis in oil companies. Now it for them to take a view,” he said.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said on 6 August the surge in international oil prices was a matter of grave concern but left it to the Petroleum Ministry to take a call on fuel price hike.
“Contrary to popular perception, we haven’t suggested any hike in fuel prices. We have only sought from the Finance Ministry oil bonds worth Rs19,000 crore to partly meet the under-realisation on fuel sale,” the official said.
The Indian basket of crude oil has risen over 30% since February when petrol and diesel prices were cut by Rs2 and Re1 per litre respectively. The basket averaged $72.76 a barrel in August as against $54-55 dollars in February. Oil firms are losing Rs5.88 a litre on petrol, Rs4.80 on diesel, Rs189.14 per LPG cylinder and Rs14.63 on sale of every litre of kerosene.