Petroleum Minister hints at a possible petrol price cut in coming days
Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday hoped petrol prices would be reduced soon. He said that as soon as the state-owned oil marketing companies recoup past losses, the price of the motor fuel would be slashed. His comment comes at a time when state-owned oil companies like Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) have not revised the pricing of petrol and diesel for the past 15 months.
The pricing of petrol and diesel has not been revised as the oil companies are offsetting their losses incurred. Speaking about the possible price cut, Puri said that he hopes if losses end, prices will come down. "I will hope if under-recoveries (or losses) end, prices should come down," he said. The minister also said that the government didn't ask them to hold prices. "They did it on their own," he said.
Softening of international crude oil prices from a multi-year peak last year had resulted in the oil companies making a profit on petrol, but they continue to incur losses on diesel.
At one point, profit on petrol was ₹10 per litre, but subsequent firming of oil prices have trimmed it down by 50 per cent. Meanwhile, losses on diesel have widened to ₹13 a litre from ₹10-11 earlier this month, reports PTI. The report also claims that the price freeze by the oil marketing companies in India had led to record high losses of ₹17.4 per litre on petrol and ₹27.7 a litre diesel for the week that ended June 24, 2022.
The petrol and diesel prices have not been updated since April 6 last year. This strategy was taken despite the input crude oil prices surging from $102.97 per barrel that month to $116.01 per barrel in June 2022 and falling to $82 per barrel in January 2023. The report further stated that holding prices when input cost was higher than retail selling prices led to the three firms posting net earnings loss. They reportedly posted a combined net loss of ₹21,201.18 crore from April-September 2022.