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'Govt to review fuel prices in October'

Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan says the Govt will first examine the impact of high int'l crude prices on the revenues of state-run oil retailing firms in the first half of FY'09.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Madrid
UPDATED ON JUL 03, 2008 05:44 PM IST

India will review retail fuel prices in October after it gets a clear picture of the dent that high international crude prices will leave on revenues of state-run oil retailing firms in the first half of FY'09.

"At the June Cabinet meeting that decided to raise petrol, diesel and domestic LPG prices, it was agreed that we would take stock of the situation in October," Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan said at the 19th World Petroleum Congress held in Madrid.

On June 4, petrol price was raised by a record Rs 5 per litre, diesel by Rs 3 a litre and domestic LPG by Rs 50 per cylinder. This hike together with cut in customs and excise duties only marginally offset the Rs 245,000 crore projected revenue loss at that time.

Despite the hike and duty cuts, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum are currently losing Rs 14.92 a litre on petrol, Rs 24.90 on diesel, Rs 38.098 on a of kerosene and Rs 338.53 per 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.

IOC, the largest retailer, alone is losing Rs 383 crore per day on fuel sales. At present prices, the total revenue loss of the three companies projected now for 2008-09 fiscal stands at Rs 211,400 crore.

"We do not expect any price revision between now and October. We will review the situation in October and take steps deemed fit by the Government to address the scenario," Srinivasan said.

The last round of price hike has pushed headline inflation to over 13-year high of 11.42 per cent. Crude prices which were then $135 a barrel have climbed to a record $145 a barrel on Thursday.

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