Jaipal Reddy defends petrol price hike, says no rollback soon
Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy on Friday defended the hike in oil prices and said that the government will watch the international situation for a few days before taking a decision on the issue. The minister added that a partial rollback of the prices was not likely soon.
Reddy said, "India is facing the twin crisis of rupee devaluation against US dollar and a substantial increase in the international prices of crude oil. This is a global problem beyond anybody's control. There is no instant solution to the problem."
The minister said that the government was aware of the concerns of consumers and that it could not allow the image of oil marketing companies to be adversely affected.
"This decision was taken by oil marketing companies. We in the ministry cannot cannot take a definitive view as there is high volatility in rupee and crude oil... We have decided to watch for a few days."
The minister further said that the Central and the state governments needed to work together to come out with a formula to tackle the situation.
"All parties must work together on the issue," he said.
Reddy added, "Petrol is deregulated... but during certain periods, oil marketing companies were not able to raise prices of petrol, because of which they have lost massively.. Our oil companies are bleeding. Rs 2200 crore was lost only on petrol in the year 2010-11. Rs 4800 crore was lost in 2011-12 and in the last two months, a loss of Rs 2330 crore was made. This amount has not been compensated."
The minister further ruled out dual pricing in diesel and petrol, saying it would not work.
He said that the prices of diesel, LPG and kerosene could not be "revisited by the Oil Ministry... With regard to these commodities, only the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has to meet," adding, "I have been urging for this meeting."
Petrol: Who gets what?
Here's a look at who gets what share in the price we pay for petrol:
Dealer price Paid to oil companies: Rs 44.70
Excise Duty + 3 per cent Education cess: Rs 14.78
Dealer Commission: Rs 1.50
VAT @20 per cent: Rs 12.20