Diesel price to be decontrolled in due course: Deora

November 1st, 2010 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) Petroleum Minister Murli Deora Monday said the government is considering decontrolling diesel prices and asserted that freeing of petrol prices and raising of diesel prices have not hampered the automobile industry.

“There is a proposal to decontrol pricing of diesel in due course of time,” said Deora at Petrotech 2010.

In June, the government had decontrolled petrol prices. At the same time, diesel prices were hiked by Rs.2 per litre, with the commitment that the price would be eventually decontrolled.

“Why should the government provide a subsidy of
Rs.3 per litre on diesel for people who ride in Mercedes,” asked Deora.

Last week, Deora had ruled out an immediate decontrol of diesel, citing the current high price of crude in the interenational market.

The minister noted that despite the decontrol, the sale of cars and vehicles have shown a quantum jump. “This indicates that increase in prices of petrol and diesel has not affected the automobile industry at all, which is contrary to the belief that increase in prices of petrol and diesel would hamper growth of automobile industry.”

Later speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Deora ruled out the possibility of decontrol of kerosene, asserting that the government will try to protect the common man’s interest.

The minister said the decision to increase fuel prices had to be taken as financial position of oil marketing companies was becoming precarious, with under-recoveries reaching a peak of Rs 1.03 lakh crore in June 2008.

– dm/srj

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