The Indian Cabinet is probably planning to retail petrol at market-determined prices and is contemplating a hike of retail prices by Rs 10-16 per litre.
According to ministry officials, a proposal to sell petrol at higher prices, while keeping diesel and cooking gas at subsidised rates, is under consideration. The Cabinet is likely to take up the proposal at a meeting soon.
However, there are dissimilarities among the Cabinet members as some favour prices of petrol to be market-determined, while regulating prices of diesel, cooking gas and kerosene to safeguard the poor and avoid stoking inflation.
According to experts, having a market-determined price will help in the survival of oil companies without any significant inflationary impact.
The idea has also been supported by the working group on petroleum and natural gas sector for the formulation of the XI Plan. In its report, the group chaired by petroleum secretary MS Srinivasan had said: “In the case of both petrol and diesel, regular and small adjustments in price are recommended. Furthermore, if we are to reduce consumption of oil products, price signals must be transmitted to consumers so that they can make adjustments on their side as well.”