Facing sharp criticism from two ministers in the UPA government on the petrol price hike, three state-owned oil firms — Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum — on Sunday said their combined profits were not “huge”, as alleged, but “nominal”. The profits were barely enough to maintain their blue chip status and credit ratings at the global level, they added.
“A false impression is being created in some sections that the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) recorded huge profits in 2011-12,” the chiefs of the three oil companies said in a joint statement on Sunday, without directly mentioning the critics.
The statement came a day after union minister of overseas Indian affairs Vayalar Ravi rejected claims by oil companies that they were facing losses. Ravi's comments followed a similar statement from defence minister AK Antony a few days ago.
R S Butola, CMD of Indian Oil, said the three OMCs had declared a combined profit of only R6,177 crore during 2011-12 on a combined turnover of R8,33,000 crore. “The combined profits are only 0.7% of the turnover,” he said, adding that such profits are not adequate for meeting capital expenditure requirements.