No fuel price cut for now, says Deora

New Delhi, Jan 19 | Updated: Jan 20 2007, 05:30am hrs
Fuel prices will not be cut due to the temporary downtrend in the international crude oil market. The government will wait for international crude prices to stabilise at below $50 levels before announcing any reduction in domestic petrol and diesel prices.

"The government will take decision about cut in prices at the appropriate time. We cannot take a decision on the basis of international crude price falling below $50 for a day or two. We will have to wait for the stabilisation of crude prices before taking any decision to reduce petrol and diesel prices," petroleum minister Murli Deora said on the sidelines of the final day of Petrotech 2007 in the Capital. The Indian basket of crude oil had slipped below $50 per barrel at $49.85 on Thursday, raising hopes that the government could soon review domestic oil prices.

Deora said he would meet finance minister P Chidambaram next week to seek cut in the excise duty on petroleum products. He also said under-recovery of state-run oil marketing companies was likely to remain at about Rs 50,000 crore this fiscal.

Minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal said the government would continue to provide subsidy on fuel, especially kerosene.