PM to decide on oil price hike: Aiyar

New Delhi: Prime minister Manmohan Singh will review petrol and diesel prices this week, which have remained unchanged since August.

"Every 15 days, we have to review fuel prices and they will be reviewed with respect to international prices on October 15. Whether the prices will be hiked or not will be decided after I place before the prime minister all the facts," petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar told reporters here yesterday.

Aiyar will meet Singh on Thursday or Friday to brief him on the impact of rising crude prices on the Indian economy and the burden on state-run oil firms due to unchanged prices.

"Interests of consumers will be the foremost consideration. We want Indian oil companies to make their contribution for protection of the economy and share the burden on consumers," he said indicating that a close to Rs3 per litre hike in diesel prices and Rs0.50 per litre in petrol prices are needed to put domestic prices in step with international trend.

"We will protect the economy and ensure the interests of public sector companies are also guarded," Aiyar said, adding, that the losses suffered by marketing companies on selling fuel would be offset by gains made by oil producers like ONGC by way of getting higher price for their produce. "The burden would be shared equitably," he said.