Naveen demands complete roll back in petrol price

Bhubaneswar: Dismissing the Rs two per litre cut in petrol price as `meaningless`, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today demanded complete rollback of the hike effected recently. "We demand complete roll-back in the hike effected in the price of petrol by the central government recently," Patnaik told reporters here.

Ruling BJD had observed a state-wide bandh on May 31 seeking complete roll-back of petrol price hike and party workers had hit the streets to press for the demand. Patnaik too had participated in the demonstrations against the petrol price hike terming it as a burden on the common people.

The Rs 7.54 per litre hike on May 24 was done considering an average gasoline price of USD 124.37 per barrel and a rupee-dollar exchange rate of Rs 53.17 in the first fortnight of May. Gasoline price have since fallen to USD 115.77 per barrel in the second fortnight but rupee-dollar rate has worsened to Rs 54.96 to a US dollar during the period.

The fall meant that petrol rates be cut by Rs 1.68 per litre, excluding local sales tax or VAT. In Delhi, after including 20 per cent VAT, the reduction will be Rs 2.02 a litre. "Petrol prices are reviewed on fortnightly basis. Since last pricing cycle, though international oil prices have decreased quite significantly, the USD-rupee exchange rate has shown further deterioration," the statement said.

In addition, oil firms are losing heavily on diesel, domestic cooking gas (LPG) and kerosene, rates of which were last revised in June 2011. "As compared with last price change, current revenue loss on diesel has gone up from Rs 6.13 per litre to Rs 12.53 per litre, for kerosene from Rs 24.16 per litre to Rs 30.53 per litre and for LPG from Rs 331.13 per cylinder to Rs 396.00 per cylinder," it said.

"At these rates, it is estimated that under-recovery (revenue loss) on sale of sensitive products during 2012-13 shall be around Rs 96,000 crore for IOC and Rs 181,000 crore for the industry," it added. Oil companies, it said, continue to closely monitor the international gasoline (petrol) prices and exchange rates to assess their potential impact on selling prices in future.