Govt. in No Mood to Hike Petrol, Diesel Prices

New Delhi: Allaying the hearsay regarding increase in the kerosene and domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) costs, together with that of petrol and diesel in the recent year (2007), the Union Government on Thursday has sanctioned a financial package, comprising issuing of Rs. 23,457-crore worth oil bonds and branching out the funding plan on LPG and kerosene for the next three years.

After the Union Cabinet conference, Murli Deora, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister said, “As per the directions of Congress president Sonia Gandhi not to burden the common man and the assertion of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to find an alternative to hiking prices, we kept the interests of the aam aadmi in mind and have not passed on the burden of surging crude oil prices in the international market on to the consumer.”

The sources told that Sonia Gandhi has issued orders to political secretary Ahmed Patel and Mr. Deora that there should be no increase in the prices of kerosene, LPG, petrol and diesel.

“The directions were that under no circumstances the poor or the common man should be financially burdened,” the sources added.

The approximated under-recoveries of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) for the recent fiscal (2007-08), would be Rs. 54,935 crore. Out of this amount, 42.7 per cent would be endured by the administration.

The upstream public sector units (PSUs) comprising the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, the Gas Authority of India Limited and the Oil India Limited will borne the another one-third to the tune of Rs. 18,000 crore.

The Oil Marketing Companies would share the remaining load.

The Cabinet has also decided to lengthen budgetary subsidy on the domestic LPG and public distribution system kerosene for three more years from April 1, 2007.

Mr. Deora said that the administration was supplying Rs. 2,680 crore from the financial plan to support the cooking fuels used up in larger quantities.