Time not apt for revision of diesel price: Jaipal

The Government on Tuesday said it will look into the issue of hike in diesel price “at an appropriate time.”

"Deregulation of diesel is a difficult proposition but at appropriate time we may look at reducing subsidy on diesel,” Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy told reporters here.

He, however, said the Finance ministry should compensate the state-owned oil firms for the losses incurred by them on account of the static petrol prices.

Reddy said there is no proposal at present to raise diesel price. “The time has not come,” he said.

At present, state-owned oil firms like Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum sell diesel at price lower than the imported cost. If the government decides to free pricing of diesel, the hike will be above Rs 11 per litre.

There has been a demand from various quarters for freeing diesel price for long but the government, under pressure from the Opposition and some of its own allies, has so far abstained.

The subsidies on fuel, food and fertilisers are expected to cross the Rs 1 lakh crore mark in this financial year.

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