Virtually securing the consent of Left parties, the government is likely to decide on a price hike of Rs 4 per litre for petrol and Rs 3 a litre for diesel while sparing cooking gas and kerosene, which will further pinch the pockets of the common man.. Petroleum Ministry, is understood to have veered around to the moderate hike in prices of fuel but might spare the common man from the burden of cooking medium. Although the price increase required for offsetting the impact of surge in global oil prices works out very high, the government would contain the burden to a moderate level. Moreover, there are indications that there would not be another change in prices in the next couple of months even if international crude prices go up further. Petroleum Ministry had been working for some time to find an acceptable price hike formula to save oil companies from bankruptcy, which are likely to face under-recoveries of Rs 73,500 crore this fiscal on account of selling fuel below cost. The prices of petrol and diesel were last revised in September 2005. Earlier this month, the Petroleum Minister Murli Deora had met the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Left parties to apprise them of the situation. Oil companies have demanded that prices of petrol be raised by Rs 9.33 a litre, that of diesel by Rs 10.43 a litre, kerosene by Rs 17.16 per litre and LPG by Rs 114.45 a cylinder. Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora says that they are trying their level best that prices of fuel that are for the poor should not be increased.
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