Our Bureau

New Delhi, Jan. 15

PETROL and diesel prices would remain unchanged this fortnight. Oil companies review retail prices every 15 days and were scheduled to take a decision on revising them on Saturday.

"I don't expect them (oil companies) to increase prices," the Petroleum Minister, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, said on the sidelines of the Petrotech 2005 exhibition today.

The petrol and diesel prices were to be revised today as per the present practice of fixing prices on 1st and 16th of every month, in line with global crude price trends. Asked if the fortnightly price revision would be scrapped as petrol and diesel prices have remained unchanged for two months now, Mr Aiyar said, "When was the fortnightly revision followed in principle. There was no such thing."

He said a new auto fuel pricing policy was on the anvil. "It is a political decision and the Prime Minister, after due consultations, would announce it at an appropriate time."

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is to address the Petrotech 2005 conference tomorrow and his speech may contain indications about the policy.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 16, 2005)
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