Economy Jan 16, 2013
New Delhi: The government is "seriously" considering revising rates of auto and cooking fuels but no decision has been taken as yet, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said today.
"All price hike or price reduction... proposals are under serious consideration. We have not taken any decision," he told reporters here.
The ruling UPA's political leadership is holding consultations on options like raising diesel and LPG prices to cut an unprecedented Rs 1,60,000 crore revenue loss expected from selling auto and cooking fuel below cost this fiscal. Moily, however, refused to be drawn into what his ministry was proposing or when and at what forum would such a decision be taken.
"What Cabinet will discuss, that is a matter which I cannot disclose. What Cabinet proposal will be there, I dont think it is a matter of discussion here," he said.
The Ministry is suggesting revision in diesel, domestic cooking gas (LPG) and kerosene rates to the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs based on recommendation of the Vijay Kelkar Committee, which was appointed by the Finance Ministry to suggest a roadmap for fiscal consolidation.
"(Kelkar Committee) report has already been submitted. he has given number of proposals. That is under serious consideration of the government," Moily said.
The panel had recommended an immediate hike in price of diesel by Rs 4 per litre, of kerosene by Rs 2 a litre and of LPG by Rs 50 per cylinder. Thereafter, it suggested raising rates on a monthly basis till the revenue losses are wiped off.
Moily refused to comment on his ministry's wishlist for the Budget 2013-14 saying taxation matters were a perogrative of Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
He refused to comment on raising supply of subsidised cooking gas cylinders for households to nine a year from the current cap of six saying the moment he utters a word, he would get a notice from the Election Commission.
Model code of conduct is in place as Assembly elections in three states have been declared.
Price of diesel, which currently costs Rs 47.15 per litre in Delhi, was last revised on September 14 when it was hiked by a steep Rs 5.63 per litre. Kerosene rates have not changed since June 2011 and it currently costs Rs 14.79 per litre in Delhi.
Subsidised LPG costs Rs 410.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder and any household requirement beyond current cap of 6 cylinders is to be bought at near market price of Rs 895.50 per bottle.
State-owned oil companies currently sell diesel at a loss of Rs 10.16 per litre, kerosene at Rs 32.17 a litre and LPG at Rs 490.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
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