EGoM meet on revising diesel, LPG rates soon

New Delhi: After a steep Rs 7.54 a litre hike in petrol prices, a high powered ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee may meet soon to decide on revising diesel, cooking gas LPG and possibly also kerosene rates.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has not met in almost a year even though depreciation in rupee and rise in international oil prices raised cost of imports.

Sources said the panel may meet as early as tomorrow but a top Oil Ministry official stated no meeting has been scheduled as yet. "Finance Ministry had yesterday sought to know the availability of Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy for holding an EGoM meeting on Friday. They were told that he is in Turkmenistan (for signing of TAPI agreement) and would be returning only on Friday evening," a source said.

"Subsequently, Reddy has preponed his departure from Turkmenistan and is returning this evening".

State-owned oil companies currently lose Rs 512 crore per day on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene. Diesel is currently sold at a loss of Rs 15.35 a litre, kerosene at Rs 32.98 per litre loss and oil firms lose Rs 479 on sale of every 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.

The three firms had together lost Rs 138,541 crore in revenue in 2011-12. This year they are projected to lose a record Rs 193,880 crore.

Yesterday`s hike was the steepest hike in petrol price ever and the first increase in more than six months. Previous high was Rs 5 a litre done twice – May 5, 2011 and May 24, 2008.

State-owned oil firms, which had in the fiscal ending March 31, 2012 lost Rs 4,860 crore on petrol sales, were currently losing Rs 6.28 per litre on petrol. After including 20 per cent VAT, the desired increase in petrol price in Delhi came to Rs 7.54 a litre.