Decision on fuel price cut likely Thursday (Lead)

January 28th, 2009 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiNew Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) The government’s decision on 3G spectrum auction and a cut in fuel prices is likely to be announced Thursday. The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs met here Wednesday evening to consider a host of proposals including these two.

United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi had announced Tuesday at a political rally in Uttar Pradesh that a fuel price cut was on cards.

The decision also comes with the Election Commission indicating that it plans to complete the general elections by May 18.

The downward price revision has been in the pipeline for some time, with international crude prices continuing to fall. Retail prices of petrol and diesel were cut last month by Rs.5 and Rs.2 respectively.

During the day, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora met Pranab Mukherjee, who has been given the finance portfolio, to discuss petrol price cut. The finance portfolio is handled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, currently recuperating after a heart surgery.

It is believed retail prices may be reduced by margins similar to those made in December.

Global fuel prices reached $147 per barrel in mid-2008 before tumbling to as low as $33.

State-run oil marketing companies have been earning profits of about Rs.9 per litre of petrol and Rs.4 on diesel, but still run double-figure losses on kerosene and cooking gas.

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