More relief followed followed on Friday after petrol prices were cut by 6-7 paise on Friday, even as the government plans is working out a solution with the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to announce a cut in diesel and petrol prices. Notably, petrol prices were slashed for the third consecutive day by 6-7 paise and a litre of petrol retailed at Rs 78.29 in Delhi, 80,02 in Kolkata, 86.10 in Mumbai and Rs 81.28 in Chennai, prices observed from IOCL website showed.
The prices compare with Rs 78.35 per litre in Delhi, Rs 86.16 in Mumbai, Rs 80.98 in Kolkata and Rs 81.35 in Chennai. The slash in petrol prices come after 16 consecutive days of hike following the Karnataka elections. On Wednesday, the petrol prices were slashed by just 1 paisa, followed by a more meaningful slash yesterday.
More relief may be on cards, as the government may soon may ask state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to bear fuel subsidy to help cut petrol and diesel prices. Notably, a meeting was held late Thursday, sources told The Indian Express, at Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s residence. The newspaper also reported a government official as saying that an announcement could come anytime soon.
The government is looking at ONGC to share the burden as it does not want to cut excise duty and is looking at alternative means to reduce petrol and diesel prices that had on Tuesday touched an all-time high of Rs 78.43 per litre and Rs 69.31 a litre respectively, according to a PTI report. The agency reported sources as saying that the alternative in works is to ask ONGC give subsidy to fuel retailers so that they can sell petrol and diesel at below market rates.
A government official had earlier told The Indian Express that ONGC’s contribution could pare the required price increase in petrol and diesel by one-third with an additional marginal relief provided by reducing the dealers’ commission by 18 paise per litre on diesel and 23 paise per litre on petrol. Further, ONGC’s burden-sharing would provide close to Rs 30,000 crore for this exercise, which is equivalent to a Rs 2-per litre cut in excise duty on both petrol and diesel.