Gov increasing again the price of petrol,diesel &cooking gas
Diesel, petrol likely to cost up to Rs 3 more, cooking gas Rs 25
Get set to shell out more for auto and cooking fuels. With assembly polls in five states ending on May 10, a ministerial panel will meet on May 11 to take a call on hiking fuel prices. While diesel price is likely to go up by up to Rs 2.50 a litre, cooking gas cylinder is expected to cost at least Rs 25 more. And petrol prices could rise by Rs 3 a litre.
New Delhi: Your motoring and cooking bills look set to rise next week. The ministerial panel on fuel prices is scheduling a meeting on May 11 to consider raising fuel prices after polling in five states gets over on May 10.
An increase of Rs 2-2.50 per litre in the price of diesel and at least a Rs 25 per cylinder increase in the cost of a cooking gas refill looks imminent. Simultaneously, the government is also expected to give state-run oil marketers the cue to raise petrol price by at least Rs 3 a litre.
The government sets prices of diesel, cooking gas and kerosene. Oil marketers are free to revise petrol price but seldom act without government nod, which had been held back in view of the polls.
An indication of the government’s resolve to finally bite the bullet came from a statement by the Congress that aimed at distancing the party from the decision and signals moderation in the quantum of increase.
Describing diesel price revision as a “sensitive issue”, spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said the party wants that “the life of the common man should not be affected by any oil price hike.”
The rise in global crude prices has left little room for the government to manouevre. It has not allowed state-run oil marketers to revise petrol price since January 15 to avoid upsetting voters ahead of the state polls. Diesel has been left untouched since June last year.
The net result is that the oil marketers are estimated to have run up a loss of Rs 180,000 crore in FY11. Last heard, they were losing about Rs 8.50 a litre on petrol, Rs 16.76 a litre on diesel, Rs 29.69 on kerosene and Rs 329.73 on a cooking gas refill.
In spite of crude’s fall over the last to days on the news of Osama bin Laden’s killing, the mix of crude state-run refiners buy has averaged over $120 a barrel. On the other side, pump prices of petrol corresponds to about $100 per barrel and diesel around $90-95 a barrel of crude.
Politically, this appears to be the time to raise fuel prices. State polls would be over and the next Parliament session would be two months away, allowing enough time for Opposition voices to trail off on the streets. UPA coalition partners such as Trinamool Congress and DMK, who would have received the people’s verdict in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, respectively, would not have much reason to oppose an increase in fuel prices.