Elections over, retailers push for Rs5 petrol price hike

With the conclusion of elections in five states, India's three oil marketing companies met the government today to push for an increase of as much as Rs5 in petrol prices.

Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, all state-owned, had last hiked petrol prices byRs 3.14 a litre on 16 September.

This was the third hike in petrol prices during 2011, after the government allowed the oil retailers to adjust price of petrol to international rates while still keeping tight clamps on pricing of other oil-based fuels like diesel, kerosene, and cooking gas.

"We are losing Rs 5.10 per litre on petrol currently," a senior oil company official said. "With counting for assembly elections in five states having ended today, we would be approaching the government for appropriate directions on price revision."

The three oil marketing companies have together lost over Rs900 crore since the last price revision, as international crude prices have been on the upward march.

"In all probability, petrol price will be increased but by how much is for the government to decide," a petroleum ministry official told CNBC-TV18.