11th day, 11th hike: Petrol, diesel prices continue to burn hole in pocket

The petrol and diesel prices witnessed a new hike for 11th day in a row. According to Indian Oil Corporation, petrol was retailing at Rs 77.47 for a litre in New Delhi and in Mumbai at Rs 85.29 per litre. While the price of diesel in Delhi is at Rs 68.53/litre and Mumbai at Rs 72.96/litre repectively.

On Wednesday, HPCL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Kumar Surana said that there is a need to review taxation on petrol and diesel to provide relief to consumers after rates touched an all-time high.

Surana also denied of knowing any meeting called by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan or anyone else in the government to discuss the rising prices. It was earlier reported that the government will meet oil firms representatives to discuss the matter.

Oil marketing companies, which are volume driven, operate on a thin margin and as such cannot do much if the international cost of oil rises, he said. “We have to maintain our capex plans and growth plans,” Surana reasoned.

The solution has to be found while balancing the budgets of oil companies, the consumer and the government, he said.

While the consumer has price sensitivities even though he has not shown any trend of moderating consumption in the face of rise in prices, the government heavily relies on oil revenues to meet its spending budget.

“There is need to review taxation on the fuel,” he said without elaborating.

 On Tuesday BJP President Amit Shah informed that a plan is being worked upon to check petrol prices in the country. Addressing the furore over fuel price hike, Shah said that the government officials were taking the issue of fuel price hike seriously. “The government is taking the matter of oil prices seriously. Petroleum minister will have a meeting with the officials of the oil companies. We are trying to work out a formula to reduce the prices in the next three to four days.”