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Old 22nd May 2008, 17:09   #1
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Default Rediff reports Cabinet mulling Rs.5/lt hike

News out on Welcome to rediff.com

(Govt may hike fuel price by Rs 5 a litre)

Govt may hike fuel price by Rs 5 a litre

May 22, 2008 15:15 IST
The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may meet on Friday to consider raising petrol and diesel prices among other measures to bailout state run firms that have been reeling under unprecedented high crude prices.
With Indian Oil [Get Quote], Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum projected to lose Rs 200,000 crore (Rs 2,000 billion) in revenues on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below import cost, industry sources said a hike in the range of Rs 2 to 5 per litre appears on the cards.
Petroleum Minister Murli Deora on his part neither denied nor confirmed Cabinet being scheduled for Friday.
"We are discussing all possible measures to help and protect our public sector oil companies. . . some remedial measures need to be taken (urgently)," he told reporters.
The three firms are currently losing Rs 450 crore (Rs 4.50 billion) in revenues on fuel sales every day. Petrol is being sold at a loss of Rs 16.34 a litre, diesel at Rs 23.49 per litre, LPG at Rs 305.90 per cylinder loss and kerosene at a discount of Rs 28.72 per litre.
Deora has called a meeting of heads of the oil PSUs tomorrow morning and after that may brief the Cabinet of the financial strain on the companies in view of international crude prices topping $135 a barrel.
"I cannot rule in or rule out anything at this stage," Deora said when asked if petrol and diesel prices hike was an option under consideration.
"We are concerned at the financial health of the PSUs," he said, but asked the consumers not to panic.
"There is no rationing of fuel as has been reported by one newspaper. We can never resort to such an anti-consumer practice. I have spoken to BPCL [Get Quote] chairman Ashok Sinha who has categorically denied such a move," he said.
Deora said state-run retailers IOC, BPCL and HPCL [Get Quote] were under severe financial strain and may have taken some measures to cut cost but fuel rationing was not being resorted to.
"I would like to plead with the public and consumers that there is no such move," he said. "The government is at work trying to solve the problems being faced by PSUs. There are some measures that are under discussions."
"Our PSUs have done great service to the nation. Besides making available auto and cooking fuel to every nook and cranny, they have also been selling at a price lower than the cost. This has caused some constraint and we are concerned about it," he said.
In Asian morning trade on Friday, New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, rose to a high of $135.04 a barrel before easing to $134.87.
The three firms are faced with a huge liquidity crunch and are borrowing Rs 3,500 crore (Rs 35 billion) a month to meet day-to-day expenditure. Borrowings of the three firms have reached Rs 65,000 crore (Rs 650 billion).
The government's bar on oil firms from raising fuel prices despite cost of raw material (crude oil) doubling to over $135 a barrel, is likely to see the three firms end the current year with a revenue loss of Rs 200,000 crore. Last year, the revenue loss was Rs 77,304.50 crore (Rs 773.45 billion).
The government makes up for just over half of the under realisation of oil companies on fuel sales through issuance of oil bonds, while 33 per cent of the losses is compensated by companies like ONGC [Get Quote] and GAIL. The rest is to be borne by the retailers.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 17:54   #2
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Good the govt. does this and it will act as the last nail in the coffin of the UPA and Congress govt. Anyways, the inflation figures over the last few months has made life difficult for the UPA. This hike (if there is any) will ensure that we have a new coalition in the center
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Old 22nd May 2008, 18:02   #3
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Had read this in rediff in the morning and i was like not again ! but it was quite expected that crude oil has touched 135$ per barrel. Many people are like 200 $ per barrel is not far away !
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Old 22nd May 2008, 18:09   #4
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I'm buying myself a cycle soon. Office is 6 kms away and once the Airport moves the roads are going to be relatively free. Will atleast get back in shape. ;-)
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Old 22nd May 2008, 18:13   #5
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I bought a cycle.
Hero - with suspensions and 18 gears.
But not as fun to drive as the BSA SLR of my childhood.

The current shapes of the handles are really wierd!
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Old 22nd May 2008, 18:14   #6
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Hard to tolerate another Rs 5 for petrol. We In Karnataka ,when compared to most other states in India, suffers the most when their is an increase in fuel price.Hope that the state govt. reduce the tax for fuel if its price is increased.

Last edited by stable rock : 22nd May 2008 at 18:15.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 18:27   #7
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Nope there will not be any let off by our state govt. But they will increase the prices by adding additional cess for the road to be constructed to BIAL (Just my opinion). A common man will be the most sufferer if at all they decide to raise the price by Rs.5. This will certainly have the spiralling effect on other commodities and fast food centres through out Bangalore as the prices will go up.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 18:52   #8
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There goes my extra weekend Vodka shot
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Old 22nd May 2008, 19:16   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
I bought a cycle.
Hero - with suspensions and 18 gears.
But not as fun to drive as the BSA SLR of my childhood.

The current shapes of the handles are really wierd!
Can you please share the specs? May be a link?

~LT
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Old 22nd May 2008, 19:18   #10
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Can you please share the specs? Or link may be?

~LT
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Old 22nd May 2008, 19:43   #11
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Its been coming for long !! And frankly speaking, with the current trend in crude prices, petrol prices will continue going northward :(
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Old 22nd May 2008, 21:11   #12
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heard about the same in the UAE news that fuel prices can go up from Rs 2 to Rs5.
So what does that translate to in kerala for petrol? Rs 60 per liter??
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Old 22nd May 2008, 22:06   #13
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Man and what about the related inflation? Its sky-high anyways!

The last fill I did was very close to Rs. 50/L mark here - so much for being in a oil producing country!
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Old 23rd May 2008, 07:09   #14
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Diesel consumption is growing at 25% p.a and Petrol consumption at 12% in India. I think these growth rates are the highest in the world.

Absolute quantity of consumption is a different story, but I will think that fuel consumption in US/UK are already on the decline and India will continue gulping more and more for years to come.
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Old 23rd May 2008, 09:03   #15
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This will all translate to less car sales meaning dent in the plans for new models. What is going to happen when the cost for the crude touches $200. God knows! I couldn't stop thinking of the Genius who put my new office building 50kms away from the city. Sigh...!
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