UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has advised the government not to increase prices of kerosene and domestic LPG, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said on Friday.
"Sonia Gandhiji has clearly told that prices of poor man's fuel should in no case go up... She is right in not burdening the poor man with an increase and we are complying with her instructions," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Deora said despite a projected Rs 73,500 crore under- ecovery on sale of petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene, the government in June decided to pass only a marginal increase in petrol and diesel, while consumers of kerosene and LPG were spared.
"If government can give subsidy on food and fertilisers why not on fuel," he said, adding that the UPA government was committed to protecting common man's interest at all cost.
The under-realisation of fuel sales has partly been borne by the government by way of issuing bonds to oil companies and partly by public sector oil companies.
"Nowhere in the world is kerosene sold at Rs 9 per litre, the fact that we are selling kerosene at the cheapest price in the world shows our resolve of protecting poor man", he said.
The ruling UPA coalition had in June raised petrol price by Rs 4 a litre and diesel by Rs 2 per litre in line with the spike in international oil prices. Global prices have since eased but they have not fallen to the level that warrants a cut in domestic retail prices, Deora added.