No hike in diesel prices: FM
The government has said a firm no to revision of diesel prices anytime soon. It has also ruled out any proposal to increase prices of domestic LPG gas cylinders, kerosene and fertilisers.
"There is no proposal as of now to increase administered prices of petroleum products and fertilisers," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in reply to a Rajya Sabha question.
His assertion comes within a week of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) making a plea for increasing diesel prices in phases, as well as put a cap on subsidised domestic LPG cylinders in order to keep government finances under control.
The finance minister’s reply also comes amid bleeding oil marketers gasping for funds to meet daily needs because losses are rising. Between April and June, oil marketers lost Rs 29,042 crore by selling diesel at below cost price.
Diesel prices were last revised 14 months ago in June 2011 along with kerosene and LPG. The government fixes the prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG. In the case of fertilisers, the price of urea is determined by the government.
While the government had taken an in-principle decision to free diesel prices, it has not been able to go ahead following opposition from several quarters and high inflation.
Fiscal deficit for 2012-13 has been estimated at Rs 5.14 lakh crore. Chidambaram said that the target for the current year would be “re-assessed” after the mid-year review of the economy.