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Fuel price cut likely: Oil minister

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said the Govt is considering a further up to Rs 5 reduction in petrol, Rs 3 for diesel and Rs 25 for LPG in the next few days.

business Updated: Jan 11, 2009 00:57 IST
HT Correspondent

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora on Saturday said the government was considering reduction in prices of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), petrol and diesel.

“The government is considering price reduction of Rs 5 per litre on petrol, Rs 3 per litre on diesel and Rs 25 per LPG cylinder. The consumer should be able to get the benefit in 10-15 days,” said Deora on Saturday.

The minister said that oil companies had minimised losses on petrol and diesel, as crude oil prices had fallen to $40 per barrel from $147 a barrel in July last year. But, he added, if the crude oil price rose beyond $40 per barrel, profits would not be coming.

Deora said that deregulation of fuel prices was under consideration while increasing dealers’ margin was feasible only if prices fell further.

“Other factors remaining the same, we expect to start making profit from this quarter onwards,” said Arun Balakrishna, chairman and managing director of HPCL.

Deora thanked Balakrishna and his staff for not joining the strike and helping maintain fuel supply during the recently concluded petrol officials’ stir.

Deora disclosed handing of four Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) stations to families of policemen killed fighting terrorists on November 26, 2008. “The first CNG station has already been handed over to the family of Assistant Sub-Inspector Tukaram Gopal Omble,” he said.