Decision on fuel price hike soon: Moily

New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) Raising diesel and cooking fuel prices and the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders would be decided as soon as possible, Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily said Friday.

"The decision (in this regard) will be taken as quickly as possible," Moily told mediapersons here on being asked about an impending fuel price increase.

"When a decision is taken, you will be the first to know," he added.

Asked if the oil ministry had moved a cabinet note for raising fuel prices, Moily referred to the Vijay Kelkar Committee report.

"Recommendations of the Kelkar Committee are under serious consideration," he said.

The Kelkar panel has recommended an immediate hike in the price of diesel by Rs.4 per litre, of kerosene by Rs.2 per litre and of LPG by Rs.50 per cylinder. It has suggested that rates be raised thereafter on a monthly basis till the revenue losses are neutralised fully.

According to oil ministry sources, it has proposed to raise diesel prices by Rs.3-4.50 per litre in one go or in monthly instalments of Re.1 or Rs.1.50 per litre. On LPG, it has proposed quarterly increases of Rs.50 per cylinder from April till the entire losses are wiped out.

The ministry has also proposed raising kerosene price by 35 paise a litre per month or Re.1 a litre per quarter till March 2015.

As per the ministry's estimates, raising the cap to nine subsidised cylinders would lower savings to Rs.2,500 crore per annum, compared to the savings of Rs.12,000 crore estimated when six cylinders are issued at subsidised rates.

Diesel prices were hiked in September by a record Rs.5.63 per litre. It currently sells at Rs.47.15 per litre in Delhi.

Kerosene prices were last revised in June 2011 and it currently costs Rs.14.79 per litre in Delhi.

Subsidised LPG costs Rs.410.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder, while the market price is Rs.895.50 per cylinder.

State oil marketing companies currently sell diesel at a loss of Rs.10.16 per litre, kerosene at Rs.32.17 a litre and LPG at Rs.490.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder.

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