Facing opposition from key allies in the UPA Government, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Oil Minister Murli Deora on Sunday discussed an "all-acceptable" hike in fuel prices but it appeared the two failed to reach a consensus and the fuel price hike may not happen immediately.
"No decision has been taken," Deora told reporters after an hour-long meeting.
PSU retailers are projected to lose Rs 45,571 crore on selling petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below cost. To avert bankruptcy, the Kirit Parikh panel has suggested freeing auto fuels from government control along with a steep hike in cooking fuel.
Last week, Deora's ministry did not take the proposal to free petrol prices, along with hikes in diesel, cooking gas and kerosene rates, to the Cabinet because of opposition from the Trinamool Congress and the DMK.
"The meeting was about under-recoveries (revenue losses) of oil marketing companies and their Kirit Parikh report. No decision has been taken," Oil Secretary S Sundareshan said.
Pending a decision, Deora wanted the Government to fulfil its promise of meeting the Rs 31,574 crore revenue Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum will lose on selling domestic LPG and kerosene below cost.
However, Mukherjee made no promise of giving anything more than the Rs 12,000 crore already promised, sources said adding the meeting could not decide what could be an acceptable price hike to all constituents of the ruling UPA.