Petrol, diesel prices likely to rise this weekend

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Petrol price could be hiked by Re.1 a litre and diesel rates by 50 paise a litre by this weekend, according to indications available Wednesday from state oil marketing companies (OMCs).

"We will review the prices at the fortnightly review (due Friday)," R.S. Butola, chairman of Indian Oil Corporation said here.

"We won't say there is no possibility (of a price hike) but I cannot say what we will decide in that review," he added.

With international oil rates firming up over the last month, OMCs are losing Rs.1.32 a litre on petrol sales.

"Gasoline (petrol) prices in international market are rising. The trend shows that we will have under-recoveries on petrol," said Butola.

Since fuel prices were last revised on Jan 17, the Indian basket of crude oil prices has increased by $5 per barrel to Rs.114.68.

Owing to the rupee's depreciation during the last fortnight, crude oil price increased to Rs.6,188.13 per barrel on Feb 12, as compared to Rs.5,926 during the prior fortnight.

Oil firms are currently losing Rs.9.22 per litre on sale of diesel, Rs.31.6 per litre on sale of kerosene and Rs.481 per cylinder of cooking gas (LPG).

OMCs' daily under-recovery is to the tune of Rs.400 crore on the sale of subsidised petroleum products like diesel, kerosene and domestic LPG.

The government last month partially deregulated diesel, allowing OMCs to raise rates in small doses of 40-50 paise a litre every month till losses are completely wiped out.

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