EGoM meeting on Friday to consider freeing petrol price

Petrol price may go up by Rs3.73 a litre; a marginal hike in diesel price is also on the cards

An empowered group of ministers (EGoM) will meet in New Delhi on 25th June to consider possibly freeing petrol prices from government control and marginally hiking diesel prices, reports PTI.

Sources said petrol price will go up Rs3.73 a litre if the domestic prices are aligned with international rates.

Petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs47.93 per litre.

"Friday is the meeting of EGoM," petroleum minister Murli Deora told reporters, but refused to spell out the agenda.

Domestic retail prices of petrol and diesel are benchmarked at close to $60 per barrel crude oil price, while the global rates currently are over $77 a barrel.

Mr Deora has already asked states to lower sales tax on petrol and diesel to cushion consumers from the impact of fuel price hike, if any.

"A rise in the international oil prices exerts an upward pressure on domestic prices of petroleum products," he wrote to states. "Ad valorem rates of value added tax (VAT) imposed by the state governments further aggravates the impact of international oil prices on the consumers."

Sources said any decision to hike fuel prices would have to have the consent of the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) alliance partners, railway minister Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress-TMC), and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party-NCP), given the inflationary impact of the decision.

In May, WPI-based inflation was 10.16%.

Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and fertiliser minister M K Alagiri is on board the decision to raise fuel prices, sources said, adding that the EGoM would try to build consensus.

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