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Hike diesel price or face grid collapse: Montek

Last updated on: August 3, 2012 18:28 IST

Hike diesel price or face grid collapse: Montek

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Raise diesel prices or else face a situation similar to the recent grid failure which led to complete blackout across 20 states for hours, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Friday.

"The real question is that if we don't take these hard decisions (diesel price hike), there will be other consequences. You saw that with the grid collapse ... ifdistribution companies are unable to pay for power, you are going to have some problems," he said.

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Image: Montek Singh Alhuwalia.
Photographs: Reuters.

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On the diesel price hike, Ahluwalia said, "when they will raise prices, it will initially have negative impact ... but not raising prices will only mean that oil sector continues to bleed."

State-owned oil firms sell the fuel at a loss of about Rs 13.65 a litre while they lose Rs 231 on sale of every 14.2-kg LPG cylinder for domestic consumption. Besides, they are losing Rs 29.97 per litre on kerosene.

Without a price hike, a staggering Rs 1,60,000 crore of losses on these fuel sales would have to be met by the government this fiscal.

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Image: Passengers rest inside a train while waiting for the electricity to be restored at a railway station in Kolkata.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters.
Tags: LPG , Ahluwalia , Montek

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Hike diesel price or face grid collapse: Montek

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Ahluwalia further said, "It is mistake to think that raising diesel prices will cause inflation ...as if leaving them low and having hidden subsidy will not cause inflation.

"If the diesel prices are not aligned with international rates, he said, "either the budget will have to bail out (the oil companies) or we will end with the very sick energy sector. Neither of these is good for inflation."

According to Ahluwalia, "... continuing subsidy is not a free lunch. If it was then I am in favour of continuing subsidy."  



Image: Traffic moves along a busy road after electricity was restored in New Delhi.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters.

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