No plans to raise diesel prices, roll back petrol rate: Jaipal

January 20th, 2011 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) New Petroleum Minister S.Jaipal Reddy Thursday said the government has no plans to increase the price of diese, and indicated there would be no rollback of the recent hike in petrol price by oil companies.”There is no proposal on the anvil for increasing prices of diesel,” Reddy told reporters after taking over his new ministry at Shastri Bhawan.

Reddy, earlier the urban development minister, takes over just four days after three state oil marketing companies - Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum - raised their petrol price Rs.2.50-Rs.2.54 per litre.

The increase came as the average international crude price has gone up to $100.47 per barrel (159 litres to a barrel). The average price of the Indian crude basket has gone up from $87.83 in December 2010 to $92.31 per barrel in January.

Reddy strongly indicated that the government did not plan to intervene to stall the petrol price raise by the oil companies. “I am a new minister of the old government. So, whatever decision was taken by Murli Deora (former minister) was taken by us,” said Reddy.

In June last year, the government decontrolled the price of petrol, allowing the OMCs to increase or decrease the price as per market conditions.

Reddy noted that due to continuation of controls on prices of cooking gas, kerosene and diesel, the oil companies will suffer losses amounting to Rs.72,000 crore in 2010-11.

The new minister said that the burden of the global price hike has not been passed onto the consumers entirely.

So far, the finance ministry has provided Rs.13,000 crore to the oil companies to compensate for the loss in the first two quarters.

The petroleum ministry has been asking the finance ministry to cut down five percent import tax on crude oil and a reduction in excise duty on petro products.

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