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Another fuel price hike? Decision tomorrow

Last updated on: June 23, 2011 18:05 IST

Another fuel price hike? Decision tomorrow

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A high powered ministerial panel is likely to meet on Friday to consider a hike in diesel and domestic LPG prices, as well as a cut in duty rates to combat the high cost of crude oil.

The empowered group of ministers, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, may meet at 1300 hours on Friday, a source said.

A hike of Rs 2-3 per litre in diesel prices and an increase of at least Rs 25 per domestic LPG cylinder are on the EGoM agenda.

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It may also consider raising kerosene prices.

Besides, the high powered panel may consider lowering customs or import duty on crude oil to nill from current 5 per cent, and on diesel from 7.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

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Image: People protesting against price rise in New Delhi.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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The oil ministry is pushing for equitable sharing of the burden arising from the rise in crude oil prices among consumers, the government and state-owned companies, the source said.

State-owned oil companies now lose Rs 15.44 per litre on sale of diesel.

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One-third of this will have to be passed on to consumers in stages, while a similar amount will have to be borne by the government by way of either providing a cash subsidy or cutting customs and excise duty.

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The remaining would be absorbed by upstream firms like ONGC and the fuel retailers.

A similar formula would apply to the Rs 27.47 per litre loss on kerosene and Rs 381.14 under-realisation on sale of every 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.

The source said the ministry also wants a cut in Rs 4.60 per litre central excise duty levied on diesel to moderate the impact of high crude oil prices.



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