Petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy on Tuesday ruled out any immediate increase in diesel and cooking fuel prices.
I am not so courageous, Reddy said when asked if the government would consider raising prices since state-run oil marketing companies continued to lose money on retail sale of diesel,cooking gas (LPG) and kerosene sale.
Even after recent increases,the under-recoveries this financial year will be higher than it was last year, he said at the Economic Editors Conference,citing the loss at Rs 1,67,415 crore in 2012-13 versus Rs 1,38,541 crore in last fiscal. There is a need to raise prices but there is no courage, he admitted. His decision to stay away from raising prices comes despite a warning from his Finance counterpart P Chidambaram that budgetary support would not be forthcoming unless he was fully satisfied of the claims.
We welcome them to do it, Reddy said,adding that three similar exercises in the past had shown that the difference between both ministries estimates were not very significant. Finance ministry usually pays the leftover of the losses after a part-compensation from state-run upstream oil and gas companies.