Govt may not go for steep hikes in fuel prices | business | Hindustan Times
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Govt may not go for steep hikes in fuel prices

business Updated: Feb 04, 2010 17:58 IST
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A day after an expert group suggested freeing petrol and diesel prices and steep hikes in LPG and kerosene rates to combat the rising input cost, the Government on Thursday hinted that it may not accept the report in totality and will protect the common man's interest.

"The Government will ensure that least burden is passed on to the poor and common man... while also ensuring that the financial health of (PSU fuel retailers) is protected," Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Jitin Prasada said here.

Besides, deregulating auto fuel prices, which would result in hike in petrol price by Rs 4.72 a litre and diesel by Rs 2.33 per litre, the panel also suggested raising LPG rates by Rs 100 per cylinder and kerosene by Rs 6 per litre.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of The Press Trust of India's Diamond Jubilee function here, he said it was the duty of the Kirit Parikh committee to submit a report on fuel pricing policy and it is incumbent upon the Government to examine it throughly and take a considered view.

"All I can say is (that) consumer interest will be kept in mind (when a decision is taken on implementing the report," he said.

State-owned Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum currently lose Rs 180 crore per day on selling petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below the imported cost. In full-fiscal, they are estimated to lose Rs 46,030 crore.