Fuel price hike wont affect consumers: Deora

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 29 2010, 04:48am hrs
Ruling out any rollback in cooking gas and kerosene prices, petroleum minister Murli Deora on Tuesday said that the increase was not that high and would not affect consumers much.

What should we rollback We have increased prices only by Rs 3. If a family uses 5 litres of kerosene in a month, then its expenditure is increased only by 50 paise per day, he told reporters here.

Deora was asked if the government was planning to roll back the hike in petroleum prices in the wake of the strong Opposition protest.

He asked the Opposition parties not to make the price rise a prestige issue as kerosene prices have been increased only by Rs 3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs 35 a cylinder, which are not that high.

We have increased cooking gas prices only by Rs 35 and this is nothing as a family uses a gas cylinder for one month, which means only Re 1 increase in price per day, he added.

The oil minister said that one of the reasons behind increasing the price of kerosene was to check its theft and prevent its use as an adulterant for diesel. The huge price difference between diesel and kerosene was encouraging the practice, he said.

He said that the CPM had alleged that oil companies were making profits but the Indian Oil Corporation has said it was incurring losses.

The minister said oil PSUs need more money as they are expanding and setting up a number of new projects such as refineries across the country.

Asked if the prices of petroleum prices were expected to increase in the near future, he said, As far as petroleum prices are concerned, their prices will go down next week.