Deora says no plan to raise kerosene prices
The Govt has shied away from raising prices of heavily subsidised kerosene oil, fearing a popular backlash by the poor.india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 16:51 IST
Oil Minister Murli Deora said on Thursday that the ruling Congress-led coalition government had no plans to raise kerosene and cooking gas prices despite high global oil prices.
The government has shied away from raising prices of heavily subsidised kerosene oil and cooking gas, fearing a popular backlash by the poor.
But oil firms have posted heavy losses due to a rise in global prices as India imports 70 per cent of its crude oil needs.
To protect oil companies, the government had earlier appointed a panel to review the taxation and pricing policy for fuel.
"Considering that international oil prices are still at a high level and that there is no intention to increase kerosene and LPG prices ... the recommendation of the (taxation) committee would help the government to find a balanced solution," Deora said.
The minister's comments came after a meeting with Sitaram Yechury, a senior leader from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), a key government ally which opposes price hikes that may impact the poor.
The statement did not mention petrol or diesel prices.
Indian oil firms posted a cumulative loss of Rs 28.98 billion Indian ($660 million) between April and December 2005 compared with a profit of Rs 52.23 billion in the same period a year earlier.
First Published: Feb 02, 2006 16:51 IST