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Oil PSUs to share LPG subsidy burden; Reliance spared

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Sept. 15

THE Government-controlled oil sector companies alone will bear the brunt of the Cabinet's decision to spread the LPG and kerosene subsidy burden beyond Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

This would mean that the subsidy burden would shared by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Oil India Ltd, Gail India Ltd and the stand alone refineries such as Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Bongaigaon Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd, etc, according to senior Government officials. Produced from natural gas, ONGC and GAIL meet 30 per cent of the country's LPG demand.

Consequently, Reliance Industries Ltd, country's single largest LPG producer, will be spared from footing a part of the Rs 7,200-crore subsidy bill arising on account of the one year freeze in retail LPG and kerosene prices.

Last week, with an eye on the forthcoming elections in four States and the next year's general elections, the Government decided to freeze LPG and kerosene prices for a year and deferred phasing out of the subsidy on the two products by two years to 2007.

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