Fuel prices to be again cut (Lead)

January 10th, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 10 (IANS) Another reduction in fuel prices is round the corner. In the next few weeks, petrol will be cheaper by Rs.5 a litre, diesel by Rs.3 a litre, and cooking gas (LPG) by Rs.20-25 a cylinder, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said Saturday.The cuts would bring fuel prices on par with international rates, he added.

This is the second time in as many months that fuel prices have been cut after global crude oil prices began nosediving after reaching a high of $147.27 July 11. The price is currently around around $40 a barrel.

The Indian basket of crude is also currently hovering around the $40-mark per barrel, down from a peak of $132.47 a barrel in July.

LPG prices had not been cut the last time. Indane, the cooking gas brand from oil marketing firm Indian Oil Corp (IOC), sells at Rs.304.70 in Delhi, Rs.339.60 in Chennai, Rs.349.50 in Mumbai, and Rs.352.05 in Kolkata.

Deora’s announcement comes three days after he said the government might announce another cut in fuel prices soon.

The diesel price cut by Rs.3 a litre is unlikely to satisfy agitating truckers, who want a Rs.10 cut per litre. However, S. Venugopal, the general secretary of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) that is spearheading the stir, declined to comment, saying AIMTC leaders arrested Friday had to be released first before he went into issues like price cuts.

The last fuel price cut was Dec 5 after a gap of 22 months to boost the slowing economy, with the cushion coming from the price drop of $100 per barrel in global crude prices.

Oil marketing companies like IOC were allowed to cut prices by Rs.5 a litre for petrol and Rs.2 a litre for diesel.

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