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No rollback in diesel price hike: Moily

Jaipur, Jan 19, 2013 (IANS): 19:53 IST
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Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily Saturday ruled out the possibility of government rolling back the decision allowing Oil marketing Companies (OMCs) to revise diesel prices from time to time.

"India is the only country where we have the regulation of the diesel prices. We have to pay dollars and billions of crore are paid. If we go on paying in dollars ultimately the country will become bankrupt," Moily said, when asked if government was contemplating rolling back the partial deregulation of diesel prices as demanded by the entire opposition and parties supporting the government.

Diesel accounts for 59 percent of the estimated Rs.160,000 crore fuel subsidy bill of the government in 2012-13. The decision is expected to cut the subsidy bill by Rs.12,900 crore as a result of the hike in price of diesel sold to bulk consumers like the Railways and state transport undertakings.

The oil companies have been permitted to raise diesel prices by a small quantum periodically till such time that they are able to cover Rs 9.60 per litre loss they incur on the fuel.

The minister said continuing the heavy fuel subsidies will only burden the economy.

"What will happen if the fiscal deficit rises? Our ratings and investment will come down. Nobody will come and invest and when it comes down then we become a junk state," Moily said.

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