Govt in no mood to hike diesel, LPG prices now

Govt in no mood to hike diesel, LPG prices now

“No meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (which takes a call on the pricing of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene) has been scheduled for now,” an oil ministry official said on Friday ahead of the winter session of Parliament commencing on November 22.

Suicidal even to think

“It will be suicidal even to think of raising the prices of diesel, LPG and kerosene, especially when Parliament is going to be in session soon,” the official said.

He, however, agreed that much of the criticism faced by them by the opposition and government’s allies could have been avoided, had the oil companies waited for a few more days before going in for a hike in the petrol prices early this month.

“It could have been avoided, but that time there was no option,” the official said.

The state-owned oil companies — IOC, BPCL and HPCL — had raised petrol prices by Rs 1.80 per litre on November 3.

The move was widely criticised by the opposition as well as the allies in the government, with one of them also threatening to quit the government.

The OMCs, however, went in for a cut in prices by as much as Rs 1.85 per litre early this week after the global oil prices softened.

 But, this was also criticised by the opposition and allies alike.

Oil ministry version

The oil ministry official said both decisions were dictated by the economic considerations — the hike because of fall in rupee and reduction in prices of petrol because of international oil prices coming down.

He said there were no political considerations behind taking these decisions as criticised by the political parties.