10 Jan :Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said on Saturday that the government is considering a further up to Rs 5 per litre reduction in petrol, Rs 3 a litre in diesel and Rs 25 per LPG cylinder prices in the next few days.
"We have talked to Prime Minister, in coming days we are trying to reduce the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG…give us 10 -15 days," Deora told reporters in Mumbai on Saturday.
"According to me the advisable reduction would be Rs 5 per litre for petrol, Rs 3 per litre for diesel and Rs 25 on LPG cylinder," he said when asked about the extent of reduction in prices.
Oil companies have minimised the losses on petrol and diesel, as crude oil prices have lowered to USD 40 per barrel from its peak of USD 147 a barrel in July last year.
"From this quarter onwards, we expect the oil marketing companies to start making profits. But, if the crude oil price rises beyond 40 dollar per barrel, then it (profit) will not happen," Deora added.
When asked about a reduction in kerosene prices, he said it is already available at the cheapest rate in India of Rs 9 per litre.On 6th December, the Government had reduced prices of petrol and diesel by Rs five and Rs two per litre, respectively, as global crude prices hovered around four year low.
Fuel prices in the country are still regulated by the government and there were indications that they may be deregulated by February if crude prices stay at USD 45 per barrel.
It is still under under consideration, Deora said in reply to a question on when fuel prices would be freed from government control.The minister said even though oil firms continue to make Rs 9.89 a litre profit on petrol and Rs 1.03 per litre on diesel after the latest price cut, they are still making under-recoveries on sale of kerosene and LPG.
Oil PSU execs call off strike following Govt’s tough stance
Within hours of the Government cracking down on them, ordering arrests and calling in the Army, the oil PSU executives gave in Friday evening and called off their three-day-old strike, which had crippled fuel supplies and affected power generation in the country.
"Everything will be normal by tomorrow," Oil Minister Murli Deora said on Friday giving relief to millions of commuters, who were starved of fuel due to a majority of petrol pumps and CNG fuelling stations going dry because of the agitation.
Army was called in to manage loading and dispatches to petrol pumps as the Government ordered arrests and dismissals of officers keeping off work.
The move cracked the Oil Sector Officers Association, with Bharat Petroleum, the second largest retailer, walking out of the agitation instantly. With 67 executives of ONGC and Indian Oil already terminated and more lists being drawn, the other constituents of OSOA in bits and pieces withdrew from the agitation that had also delayed domestic and international flights.
"No-Stock" signboards at IOC’s over 12,000 petrol pumps irked Chairman Sarthak Behuria to send a list of officers to district authorities with instruction for arrest if they did not join duty.OSOA was unhappy with the hike in salaries approved by the Government and brought key refineries and oil and gas fields to a grinding halt.
"While petrol pumps are likely to see normal supplies by tomorrow, it will take up to a week for the stalled refineries and fields to resume normal operations," an official said on Friday.
CNG operations in Mumbai, which had also been crippled due to the strike on Thursday, had started restoring even before the strike broke after Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan gave the striking officer’s time till 0800 hrs to resume gas supplies or face the music.