Deora to meet oil firms and airlines to resolve fuel bill impasse

October 21st, 2008 - 6:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Oct.21 (ANI): Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora will meet with representatives of state-run oil companies and private airlines on Wednesday in a bid to resolve their dispute over unpaid fuel bills.
According to sources, Deora and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel have reportedly been asked by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who is currently away on an official visit to Japan and China, to resolve this issue at the earliest.
“The Prime Minister is concerned. No one wants airlines to stop operations nor does anyone want oil companies to lose. A solution needs to be found at the earliest,” a source said.
Deora told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event that the government wants to help these airlines.
“So, I have called a meeting tomorrow to explore the options,” he added.
Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines and state-run NACIL together owe more than Rs 2,000 crore in fuel bills to Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum. “Some of them have not paid even after the expiry of 60-day credit period,” Deora said.
Oil companies, who are projected to lose Rs 1,47,592 crore on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene, are virtually living on borrowed funds and need liquidity.
“Airlines have to clear their outstanding within the agreed 60-day credit period. Commitments (to pay within 60 days) have to be met,” Deora said, but ruled out stopping jet fuel supplies to airlines. (ANI)

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