New Delhi: Amidst country-wide outrage over the steepest rise of petrol prices by Rs.7.5 a litre, Indian Oil Corp Thursday said it will not roll back the hike and may cut prices only if global crude prices come down.
IOC Chairman R.S. Butola said the company was not under any pressure from the government and that it could review petrol prices in early June.
He admitted that the price hike is a huge burden for the consumers.”But if international prices come down, we would pass on the benefit to consumers,” he added.
“We are committed to do that,” Butola said hours after opposition parties called a national one-day strike for next week to protest the hike.
The state-run oil marketing companies Wednesday raised petrol prices by Rs.6.28 a litre, exclusive of sales and value added tax, to bring some respite to their financials.
“We were selling petrol at $109 when our purchase price of crude was about $120-122,” he said. This did not include refining costs, he said. “How long can a producer go on like this?”
“We don’t get compensation. This is a free product for which OMCs decide prices and don’t get support from government or upstream companies,” he said at a news conference.
India is currently facing a double whammy of higher crude oil prices and a depreciating rupee, and in such a situation, it is said that without a hike in the prices of petroleum products, the overall under-recoveries may rise further. The under-recoveries in the last fiscal was estimated at Rs.4,890 crore.
Butola said IOC had incurred losses of Rs.1,056 crore and the industry Rs.2,400 crore so far in the current fiscal.
Also, since June 2011, the prices of diesel, LPG and kerosene have not been changed.
An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) meeting Friday may decide whether the government should raise prices of the politically sensitive regulated fuels.
Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Chairman S. Roy Choudhury said the company would watch global crude prices and review the situation on the rupee.