IOC chief for petro price hike
SUPPORTING THE recommendations of the Rangrajan Committee over price of petroleum products, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Chairman Sarthak Behuria on Thursday stressed the need for immediate hike as oil companies are suffering huge losses due to subsidy.
Talking to a section of press in Ujjain, he said Rangrajan Committee has drawn conclusions after studying various aspects like taxation, market, import and consumer. He said PSU companies could have progressive marketing if the prices are market driven.
Welcoming the reported recommendation of cutting custom duty on products from 10 to 7.5 per cent, Behuria said burden of subsidy could be sustained if it is shared between various heads like price hike, reduction in taxes etc. Behuria said oil companies are worried over LPG losses and immediate hike of Rs 75 and then Rs 25 per quarter in pricing of domestic LPG cylinder as recommended, are necessary to tackle the present loss of Rs 220 per cylinder.
On the question whether the recommendations would be accepted in view of political compulsions, the IOC chairman said it is up to the Central Government to decide.
On the public impression that retail outlets of private companies were attracting more consumers in comparison to those of PSUs due to their poor image, he said the IOC was running petrol pumps even in remote areas whereas the private companies have chosen potential locations like highways only.
On the question whether deficit charging regime as applicable in communication sector be imposed in oil industry to meet the social obligations, Behuria said private companies have to open at least 11 per cent ROs in rural areas but the PSUs have 18 per cent of their pumps in these areas.