The ministers’ group that meets on Friday to consider if petrol and diesel prices should be raised is unlikely to decide in favour of doing so.
Fuel pricing has always been politically sensitive and current protests against the hike in price of compressed natural gas are likely to constrain them further.
Even as Petroleum Minister Murli Deora maintained on Tuesday that the Empowered Group of Ministers under Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would meet on June 25 and consider all the possibilities, including de-control of petrol prices, a senior official in the PMO said the chance of a hike in fuel prices in the near future was remote.
“The government may buy some more time before announcing yet another hike,” the official told HT. “It seems difficult in the present circumstances.”
Sources said the government was yet to build political consensus with its allies.
If the decision to free petrol price (align domestic price with international price) is taken, the rate will go up by Rs 3.73 a litre. Petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs 47.93 per litre.
At present, domestic retail prices of petrol and diesel are benchmarked at the global crude price of $60 per barrel. However, crude in the international market is hovering at $77 a barrel.