Petrol and possibly diesel prices are likely to be hiked by Rs 2-4 per litre once Assembly elections in five states,including Uttar Pradesh,are completed this week.
State-owned oil companies are losing about Rs 4 per litre on petrol,industry officials said.
Oil firms had last revised petrol prices on December 1 after which rates have not been changed because of Assembly elections.
The industry,they said,has lost about Rs 900 crore since the last revision which was done at international gasoline price (the benchmark for deciding domestic retail rates) was USD 109 per barrel. Gasoline rates have since risen to over USD 125 a barrel.
“In all probability,petrol price will be increased after assembly polls,” an official said.
Another official said diesel rates too may be hiked before the Budget session of Parliament that begins on March 12.
State-owned oil firms lose Rs 12,77 per litre on diesel. They also lose Rs 30.21 a litre on kerosene and Rs 378 per 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.
Indian Oil Corp,Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum are losing over Rs 410 crore per day on sale of diesel,domestic LPG and kerosene.
Officials said the call on raising diesel prices would be taken by an Empowered Group of Minister (EGoM) as and when it meets while petrol rates would be revised by oil firms themselves.
Petrol price were freed from government control in June 2010 but rates have not moved in tandem with imported cost.
While petrol price were last revised on December 1 when they were cut by Rs 0.78 per litre to Rs 65.64 per litre in Delhi,diesel currently costs Rs 40.91 a litre.