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Oil companies may go for least Rs3 per litre hike in petrol price

 Oil companies are due to review fuel prices on Saturday. IOC, BPCL and HPCL use fortnightly average of benchmark oil price and exchange rate to fix the price to be paid to refineries on 1st and 16th of every month

New Delhi: State-owned oil firms are pushing for at least Rs3 per litre hike in petrol price from 1st April to cover part of the spike in cost of raw material, reports PTI.

“We are losing Rs6.43 per litre on petrol and after adding 20% sales tax, the desired increase in rates in Delhi is Rs7.72 per litre,” a senior oil company official said.

“We understand that it will be difficult to raise rates by Rs7.72 per litre in one go but a Rs3 or even Rs4 a litre increase is feasible,” he said.

As per the practice, oil companies are due to review fuel prices on Saturday. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) use fortnightly average of benchmark oil price and exchange rate to fix the price to be paid to refineries on 1st and 16th of every month.

If the changes do not reflect in retail selling price, they become losses in the books of oil firms.

The international price of gasoline (against which domestic petrol prices are benchmarked) have risen from $109 a barrel at the time of last revision in December 2011 to $133-$134 per barrel.

Oil firms had last revised dates on 1st December when rates were cut by Rs0.78 per litre. Petrol at IOC pumps in Delhi is currently priced at Rs65.64 per litre and the rates vary by a couple of paise at the pumps of BPCL and HPCL.

Petrol price was freed from government control in June 2010 but public sector companies continue to informally consult their parent oil ministry before taking a decision.

“We are holding consultations,” the official said, dropping hints that oil firms have so far not received a go ahead from the government for raising prices.

Oil firms lost about Rs4,500 crore this fiscal on selling petrol below cost. The government does not compensate them for this loss as petrol is a decontrolled commodity.

The government continues to control rates of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene which were sold way below cost to keep inflation under check. The oil firms lose Rs14.73 per litre on diesel, Rs30.10 a litre on kerosene and Rs439.50 per 14.2-kg LPG cylinder.

The government makes up roughly half of the cost that retailers lose on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below cost.

IOC, BPCL and HPCL together are projected to lose about Rs140,000 crore this fiscal on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene.

 

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Low repayment capacity push NPAs to Rs1.27 lakh crore till Dec

“Main reasons for increase in NPAs of banks are due to switch over to system-based identification on NPAs, increase in interest rates and lower economic growth during 2011 impacting the repayment capacity of borrowers, especially small and medium enterprises,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said

New Delhi: High interest rates and lower economic growth impacted the repayment capacities of borrowers and pushed up the non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks to Rs1.27 lakh crore during April-December 2011, reports PTI.

Banks’ bad loans was Rs94,084 crore in 2010-11, Rs81,813 crore in 2009-10 and Rs68,220 crore in 2008-09, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

“Main reasons for increase in NPAs of banks are due to switch over to system-based identification on NPAs, increase in interest rates and lower economic growth during 2011 impacting the repayment capacity of borrowers, especially small and medium enterprises,” Mr Mukherjee said.

He said the government and RBI have, over the years, taken various steps to improve the financial health of banks, reduce bad loans, improve asset quality and for creating a good recovery climate.

RBI has issued guidelines for prevention of slippages, corporate debt restructuring and other restricting schemes.

In a separate written reply to the House, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena said a total of Rs2,481 crore in 1.12 crore accounts was lying as unclaimed deposits with the banks as of December 2011.

However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed all banks to be more pro-active in finding the whereabouts of the account holders who have remained inoperative over the years, Mr Meena added.

RBI has also asked banks to put details of these account holders on their websites as well as to ensure that the amount reaches the genuine claimants.

Also, RBI reported Rs1,567 lakh loss in 1,184 cases due to defects in ATM machines in last four calendar years, Meena said in another written reply.

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