Kirit Parekh heads panel on fuel pricing

Kirit S.ParikhThe government has set up a four-member panel headed by Kirit Parekh, former member of the Planning Commission, to suggest reforms in the pricing of petroleum fuels. The panel is expected to give its report in about three months.

This is part of the petroleum ministry's 100-day agenda, announced by the UDF government after it assumed power for a second term early this year.

The expert group headed by Kirit Parekh will examine the current pricing policy of the four sensitive petroleum products, viz, petrol, diesel, PDS kerosene and domestic LPG, and make recommendations for a viable and sustainable pricing policy for these products.

The terms of reference of the expert group also, inter alia,  include:

a) Review of the current taxation structure on the sensitive petroleum products, with particular reference to petrol and diesel and make recommendations to rationalise the taxes levied by the central and state governments.

b) Examination of the financial health of the public sector oil marketing companies and recommend ways of compensating them for their under-recoveries in case they are not permitted to charge market prices as a result of government's intervention, in order to protect consumers.