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'Govt to consider fuel price cut if crude stabilises'

The Govt will consider a cut in fuel prices if crude oil prices stabilise at levels where losses of oil companies are lower, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said on Wednesday.

business Updated: Nov 12, 2008 13:32 IST

The government will consider a cut in fuel prices if crude oil prices stabilise at levels where losses of oil companies are lower, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said on Wednesday.

"Prime Minister has said we cannot reduce prices now because the oil companies are losing heavily," Deora said.

Deora wanted losses to come down further and crude prices to stabilise before considering a price cut.

On his way back from his maiden three-day visit to the Gulf, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Tuesday said that the government will wait till public sector oil companies break-even on fuel sales before considering slashing fuel prices.

International crude oil prices have slid from an all-time high of US$ 147 to US$ 60 a barrel, but public sector oil companies continue to make losses on sale of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene.

Oil firms make a profit of Rs 4.12 a litre on petrol but lose Rs 0.96 on every litre of diesel, Rs 22.40 per litre on kerosene and Rs 343.49 per LPG cylinder.

State-run refiner IOC posted its largest-ever net loss of Rs 7,047.13 crore in July-September quarter.

BPCL posted a net loss of Rs 2,625.17 crore in the second quarter on top of Rs 1,066.70 crore in April-June, while HPCL reported a loss of Rs 888.12 crore in Q1 and another Rs 3,218.92 crore in Q2.