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Diesel, petrol prices may be hiked again

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Sept. 28

THE retail price of diesel is likely to be raised by around 50 paise per litre on October 1 owing to the rise in international crude prices over the past month.

In the case of petrol, the increase is likely to be around 20 paise per litre.

According to oil company officials, the price increase is likely to take place since the Finance Ministry is not willing to accede to Petroleum Ministry's request for a 2 per cent reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel.

The Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik, and the Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, are scheduled to meet on Monday before Mr Naik takes a final view on the issue.

According to Finance Ministry officials, the duty reduction is not possible looking at the future revenue flows, given the fact that disinvestment receipts so far are well below estimates.

The average price of crude procurement by Indian refiners over the fortnight has been around $28 per barrel, $1 per barrel more over what was registered during the previous fortnight.

On September 15, the oil marketing companies had raised the price of diesel by around 50 paise and that of petrol by around 40 paise per litre to offset the high international crude prices.

Under a scheme approved by the Petroleum Ministry in April this year, public sector oil marketing companies undertake a review of costs and selling prices of products once every fortnight.

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