Petrol Price may rise by Rs 2 per litre next week

State-owned oil companies may raise petrol prices by Rs 1.50-Rs 2 per litre early next week, while a Rs 2 a litre hike in diesel rates is under the government consideration, a senior official said today. "Petrol prices will be raised after the current session of Parliament ends on December 13," the official said here. A hike a diesel prices also looks imminent as crude oil prices have inched closer to USD 90 per barrel, widening the gap between domestic retail rates and their imported cost. Petroleum Minister Murli Deora met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday to discuss convening a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) next week to decide on hiking diesel rates. "In all probability, diesel prices may be hiked by Rs 2 per litre," he said.
Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum had last raised petrol price on November 9, just before the winter session of Parliament began. "The last hike of Rs 0.32 a litre was lower than the Rs 1.1 per litre desired increase to make domestic retail rates at par with international prices," he said. "The three firms are currently losing about Rs 2.40 per litre on petrol." When contacted, Oil Secretary S Sundareshan said the government will not intervene in fixation of petrol prices which had been deregulated in June. On diesel price hike, he said "it will be a political decision". "Oil marketing companies are losing Rs 4.71 per litre (in revenues) on diesel sales. If global crude oil prices show no sign of abating, the government will have to take a view," Sundareshan said. IOC, BPCL and HPCL currently lose Rs 75 crore in revenues on selling diesel below its imported cost.