New Delhi: Amidst street protests and dissent from within over the unpopular steep hike in petrol price, the government on Monday seemed to have put-off an increase in diesel and cooking gas LPG rates for now even as oil firms hinted at a marginal reduction in petrol prices this week.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee held consultations with Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy and Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu on the impact of an increase in prices of ultra-sensitive products like diesel on inflation but deferred a meeting of ministerial panel he heads on the issue.
An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on fuel prices was being proposed to meet on May 31 and availability of concerned ministers was being checked when the meeting was put off.
“We are not considering hike in prices of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene. It is out of question right now,” Reddy told reporters after meeting Mukherjee.
Stating that no dates have yet been fixed for convening a meeting of EGoM, he said, “I am not going to touch the prices of LPG, diesel, kerosene. Period”.
As if dousing the fire ignited by the Rs 7.54 a litre hike in petrol price, oil firms said a reduction of Rs 1.25-1.50 a litre may be possible on June 1 if global oil rates continue to decline and rupee appreciates against US dollar. Mukherjee, however, parried a question on rollback in petrol prices.(PTI)