Government will roll back the Rs 4 a litre hike in petrol prices and Rs 2 a litre increase in diesel rates if international crude oil prices stabilise between USD 50 and 60 a barrel, Oil Minister Murli Deora said. "Yes, we will cut prices if crude prices stabilise for sometime between USD 50 and 60 per barrel," he said in New Delhi.
The Government had last week raised petrol and diesel prices citing spike in international crude oil prices to USD
70 a barrel.
International rates have eased since. The basket of crude oil India buys was at USD 61.58 a barrel on Wednesday but the average for July was USD 65.34 per barrel. The July average was certainly lower than USD 69.12 a barrel average price of Indian basket of crude for June.
Deora said the price rise was unavoidable as India was dependent on imported crude oil to meet 75 per cent of its
domestic oil needs. Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum were projected to lose Rs 4,870 crore in
revenues every month on selling petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below the cost.
"To cover this (revenue loss), the retail prices were required to be increased by Rs 6.94 per litre on petrol, Rs
4.11 a litre on diesel, Rs 96.68 per LPG cylinder and Rs 16.01 per litre on kerosene," Deora said. "However, the Government increased the price of petrol only by Rs 4 per litre and of diesel by Rs 2 a litre."