Diesel, LPG price hike nowhere in sight

Prices of diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (cooking gas) prices are unlikely to be hiked even after the end of the monsoon session of Parliament next week as the government is wary of taking such a decision at a time when it already has political battles on hand, suggests a PTI report.

Diesel, domestic LPG and PDS kerosene rates, which have not been revised since June last year, were expected to be raised after the Parliament session ends on 7 September, but this now seems unlikely to happen.

Even a hike in prices of petrol, a fuel which was freed from government control in June 2010, would be "difficult," PTI cited a source as saying.

Oil marketing companies are losing Rs3.85 per litre on the sale of petrol as global oil prices have firmed up since the last revision in July. Petrol price were last hiked by Rs0.70 a litre on 24 July. The state-owned oil retailers were hoping to be able to raise rates once Parliament session ends next week.

The source said while state-owned oil firms are empowered to revise petrol prices, a decision on diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene rates has to be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA).

Oil firms are losing Rs450 crore per day on selling diesel at prices that are Rs15.55 a litre lower than its cost, kerosene at a massive discount of Rs29.97 a litre and selling gas at Rs 231 per 14.2-kg cylinder.