M A I N   N E W S

Hike in oil prices likely today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 5
After getting an informal clearance from the Left and other allied parties, the UPA government has finally made up its mind to give a go-ahead to the hike in petrol, diesel and LPG prices tomorrow in the scheduled meeting of the Cabinet.

Official sources said the government was likely to allow oil marketing companies to increase petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2-3 per litre and LPG by Rs 20 per cylinder and marginal hike in kerosene as the oil marketing companies are suffering huge losses after international crude oil prices touched $ 70 per barrel.

The Cabinet had deferred the decision last Friday on the proposed hike in petroleum prices, as the Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar was not in the country. He is reaching here tonight after his tour of Norway, Iceland and Bangladesh.

While talking to the reporters on the sidelines of a function here today, BPCL CMD Ashok Sinha said, “The oil companies have told the government that they will require a hike in petrol price of Rs 7.50 a litre, Rs 5 a litre in diesel and Rs 100 per LPG cylinder and Rs 12 per litre in kerosene.”

It is up to the government to make adjustments, whether through hike in prices, cut in excise duty and other measures, he said, adding that the government could also issue bonds to the companies.

Finance Minister P.Chidambaram said, “The Cabinet is scheduled to meet tomorrow and any decision on the price rise will be taken collectively.” When asked a specific question on whether the hike in petrol prices will be announced tomorrow, he said, “ I cannot say anything.”

Sources in the Petroleum Ministry said they have proposed raising petrol and diesel prices by Rs 3 per litre each and LPG price by Rs 20 per cylinder, besides suggesting a cut in levy on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre each.


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