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Govt rules out hike in LPG, kerosene prices

Deora also hinted at certain duty changes in the next fiscal budget to presented later in February.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 22:23 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora has assured that prices of cooking fuels, kerosene and LPG will remain stable for the time being.

"There is no question of raising LPG and kerosene prices. We are, at the same time, studying how we can revive the oil companies," Deora said after a meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram to discuss ways to restructure customs duty to provide some relief to oil marketing companies.

"The Finance Minister was sympathetic and supportive," he said.

Deora also indicated that certain duty changes can be expected in the next fiscal budget that will be presented later in February.

In a run-up to formulating a solution to stem losses of the state-owned oil marketing companies and protect consumer interests, Deora also held discussions with CPI(M)leader Sitaram Yechuri.

During the meeting, the Left were assured that there was no intention to increase kerosene or LPG prices keeping in mind the interest of the weak and vulnerable sections of the society.

During the April-December 2005-06 fiscal, state-owned oil companies, including Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and IBP Ltd, had together incurred a loss of Rs 28.98 billion.

This is at a sharp variance with the Rs 52.23 billion net profits the companies made in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

"The losses assume greater proportion if we take into account the Rs 97.51 billion assistance provided to the oil marketing companies by upstream exploration companies," the minister added.

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 21:51 IST