The government is likely reduce the petrol and diesel prices ahead of the Lok Sabha polls as crude oil prices have also come down in the international market which will enable the oil marketing companies to bear the burden.

As per sources, the Ministry for Petroleum and Natural Gas has worked out various combinations and permutations on the price cuts ranging from Rs 4 to Rs 10 per litre in the two fuels and the impact it will have on the oil companies.

The government is also looking at reduction in the excise duty on petrol and diesel so that the entire burden of the price cut is not borne by the oil PSUs --Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum.

The final decision on the price cut will be taken at the level of the Prime Minister, sources said.

The last time the price of petrol and diesel were reduced was in May last year when the Finance Ministry had cut the excise duty on petrol by Rs 8 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 6 a litre.

Crude oil prices have also been falling in the global market. The price of benchmark Brent crude was hovering at around $77 a barrel in the international market on Friday. This is down from the $85 to 90 range in earlier months which makes it easier to go for a price cut in fuel prices.

Meanwhile, the shares of Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum crashed by 4 per cent in Friday's trade amid reports of a likely cut in petrol and diesel prices.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)