New Delhi : The government will take a final decision on fuel price hike by the end of this month, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said here Thursday.
This is the first statement from Deora after crude oil prices hit the $100 per barrel mark on the New York Mercantile Exchange Wednesday.
He, however, hinted the government was also looking at options like rationalisation of duty and taxes on petroleum products suggested by Left leaders to help oil marketing companies reduce losses.
“There are other options like excise duty cut that have been suggested by the Left. We’ve got to find the best solution,” Deora said.
“The group of ministers on fuel price hike will meet shortly, and will consider the other options,” the minister said.
He said he met various Left leaders including Sitaram Yechury of Communist Party of India-Marxist late last week. The Left leaders have assured assistance in finding a solution to the present crisis, the minister said.
Oil marketing companies are selling transport and cooking fuels at a loss that would amount to over Rs.700 billion ($17.8 billion) by the end of fiscal 2007-08, according to data released by the government.