No Crude Price Hike For Now, Says Sonia Gandhi

Sonia_Gandhi_UPA_ChairpersonNew Delhi: Sonia Gandhi, UPA Chairperson has demanded the administration to shun hiking fuel rates at the moment, even though state-run oil companies are under great stress with global crude prices surging close to $100 per barrel.

Murli Deora, Indian Petroleum Minister met Ms Gandhi and Manmohan Singh on Friday to talk about measures to provide relief to the oil companies that are suffering loss by selling fuel at low costs.

After meeting the PM, Deora said, “We hope to find a solution next week and we will do all that is possible to protect the interests of our companies. There were several alternatives which were discussed: an increase in prices, reducing import duties on crude and reducing (excise) duties on products Government is considering all these.”

Deora give essential information to Ms. Sonia on the strain on Indian oil companies on account of global crude oil prices.

It is projected that oil companies would made under-recoveries of more than Rs 60,000 crore in the existing year.

Sonia asked the Centre Government to stay away from a controversial decision at the moment as elections in Gujarat and Himachal are on the way.

On October 11, the administration had decided to share with oil companies the Rs 54,935-crore bill caused by subsidising fuel prices low.

The Indian crude basket has climbed up by 145% since April 2004, but petroleum’s retail prices have arisen by just 29% and those of diesel by 40 percent.