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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Deora: Oil firms can't be allowed to bleed

Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 18, 2011
First Published: 00:50 IST(18/1/2011) | Last Updated: 01:23 IST(18/1/2011)

Despite protests from allies Trinamool Congress and NCP, the government seems to be in no mood to relent to the pressures over rolling back the hike in petrol prices.

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Petroleum minister Murli Deora told HT it was "unfair on part of the allies to criticise the government as the Trinamool and Mamta Banerjee was part of the government's decision to decontrol petrol prices".

On Monday, Supriya Sule from the NCP, which has also joined the fight against petrol price rise, demanded a roll back.

Coming to the defence of its oil marketing companies, Deora justified the hike stating "oil companies cannot be allowed to bleed endlessly".

He said the navratana PSUs are free to take commercial decisions and in the light of huge losses being suffered by the oil companies there was no alternative but to increase prices.

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has already said the increase in petrol prices should actually have been Rs. 4 per litre. Blaming the current increase on rising international crude prices, IOC said it was still losing over a rupee per litre on petrol despite last week's increase.

Deora also said he is meeting finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday to discuss tweaking the import and excise duties on petro products.

The petroleum ministry, officials said, is pressing for abolishing of duties on oil and oil products in the forthcoming Union Budget.

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