Hike in petrol price likely tomorrow

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 12:05 hrs

State-owned oil companies (OMCs) are likely to announce a hike in petrol price tomorrow, though a decision on an increase in diesel price could be delayed for a few days, a top oil company official said.

"We will have a look at petrol price revision tomorrow but diesel price review may have to wait a bit," a top oil company official, who did not wish to be identified, said. Officials of three state-owned oil companies-Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL, will be meeting tomorrow to take a call on fuel price revision.

"We (oil companies) have to take a call together. We do talk to each other at times. We will consult tomorrow also. We consult almost on a daily basis. We cannot guess what decision will be taken," Indian Oil chairman RS Butola told reporters, on the sideline an annual Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) conference here.

"Price hike will be taken care by oil companies and not from the ministry side," Lakshmi Panabaka, MoS for Petroleum and Natural Gas, who also attended the event, said.

15% drop in bulk diesel sales:

Indian Oil chairman RS Butola today said there has been a 14-15% drop in bulk diesel sales following the decision to free bulk diesel prices since Januray 17.

"There is a drop in bulk sales. It may be about 14-15%. And there is some increase in retail sales, which is not as high as this. But it is based on a couple of days' sales only. So we cannot say whether it is a trend," Butola said.

"There can be other reasons as these are very initial days. There could be let's say due to some festival, people consumed more, or may be the industry itself is growing. We do not know what is the reason. We cannot comment on the financial impact of this at this moment," he added.

According to industry officials, the drop in bulk sales is led mainly by a shift of state transport utilities to the retail platform.Responding to a query on the same, Butola said, "It may not be possible under the existing norms to stop them."

Of the total annual diesel consumption of 70 million tonnes (mt), bulk sales for the industry are about 11 mt. About 4 million tonnes of this are consumed by state transport utilities and fleet operators.

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