Petrol price cut by Rs.2 a litre (Second Lead)

June 2nd, 2012 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) In a partial roll-back, oil marketing companies cut petrol prices by Rs.2 a litre with effect from midnight Saturday after crude prices softened in the global market, easing pressure on a government that faced a political backlash for hiking prices 10 days ago.

Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum had raised petrol rates by Rs.6.28 a litre excluding state taxes, the steepest in recent memory, to offset growing losses caused by subsidised rates, rise in the international oil price and a plunging rupee.

India imports nearly 80 percent of its crude requirements at around $160-$170 billion annually. The high cost of imported fuel is partly blamed for the ballooning Indian current-account deficit — the gap between exports and goods and services imports — to its widest level in eight years.

According to official sources, the oil companies reduced prices by Rs.1.68 a litre as the international benchmark crude oil fell below $100 per barrel for the first time since October.

The actual increase in prices will vary from state to state depending on the prevailing sales and other taxes.

Given that the rate of sales tax or value added tax (VAT) varies from 15 percent to 33 percent in states, additional sales tax of Rs.0.94 to Rs.2.07 per litre is expected to be added to the decreased base price.

In Delhi, Indian Oil Corp said petrol price would be cut by Rs.2.02 a litre, including state levies.

Currently, petrol costs Rs.73.18 a litre in the capital. From midnight Saturday, its price will fall to Rs.71.16 a litre.

Although opposition parties and allies like Trinamool Congress demanded a full rollback, IOC said the three state-owned oil marketing companies were suffering high level of under-recoveries on the three sensitive petroleum products whose prices are regulated by the government: diesel, kerosene and cooking gas.

“Last revision in selling price of sensitive products was undertaken in June 2011. At these rates, it is estimated that under-recovery on sale of sensitive products during 2012-13 shall be around Rs.96,000 crore. While that of the entire industry is expected to be Rs.181,000 crore,” IOC said in a statement.

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