No plan to hike diesel, LPG, kerosene prices: Reddy
The government has no immediate plan to hike prices of diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene, Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said Monday
"I am not touching the prices of diesel, LPG or kerosene," Reddy told reporters when asked about the possibility of hike in prices of these products.
The state-run oil marketing companies last week announced the sharpest ever increase in petrol prices. In Delhi, petrol raised by Rs.7.54 per litre.
There has been speculation that the government might also increase prices of diesel and cooking gas to reduce subsidy burden.
Reddy also ruled out possibility of introducing dual pricing mechanism for diesel and cooking gas, but said his ministry has recommended raising taxes on diesel-driven vehicles.
"I am not thinking of dual pricing at all," the minister said.
Reddy said he has discussed with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee the inflationary impact of the possible increase in diesel and cooking gas prices.
The government provides subsidies of Rs.31 per litre on kerosene, Rs.13.64 per litre on diesel and Rs.479 for each cylinder of LPG.
Due to weakening rupee and high prices of crude oil in the international markets, oil subsidy burden on the government is set to rise substantially. It is also putting heavy pressure on the balance sheets of oil marketing companies.
Oil marketing companies claim they are losing over Rs.500 crore per day on sale of diesel, kerosene and domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Reddy said no date has been fixed yet for the meeting of ministerial panel to review subsidies on petroleum products.
The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was scheduled to meet last week to discuss oil subsidy. But the meeting was postponed.