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No fuel price hike till committee submits report: Deora
Published on 2 Feb. 2010 12:01 AM IST
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Petroleum Minister Murli Deora Monday indicated that transport fuel prices will not increase till the Kirat Parikh committee submits its report. The Kirat Parikh committee was constituted for making recommendations to the government on carrying out reforms in the oil sector, including the pricing mechanism for transport fuels. The committee’s report is long overdue. “We want to see that the prices are not increased right now as it will have a cascading effect on other sectors,” Deora told reporters here. The minister also added that he will be meeting finance minister Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday regarding compensation for losses suffered by the oil marketing companies (OMC) -- Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum -- who have been selling fuel at a subsidised rate. The total losses suffered by oil marketing companies this fiscal is around Rs.43,000 crore. The finance ministry has so far only agreed to release Rs.12,000 crore in cash while the upstream energy companies Oil and Natural Gas Corp and OIL have also pitched in with some funds. The petroleum ministry is trying to persuade the finance ministry to absorb the entire losses. Petroleum Secretary S. Sundareshan, who assumed charge Sunday, said one of his priorities would be that OMC’s do not suffer on account of the under-recoveries. At current global prices, the three public sector companies are losing Rs.299 per cooking gas cylinder, Rs.17.23 per litre of kerosene, Rs.3.06 per litre of petrol and Rs.1.56 per litre of diesel.

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