Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday said petrol prices are not expected to be cut anytime soon considering the past losses of public sector oil companies. However, he also expressed hope that once the losses incurred by the oil companies are recovered, then the prices may be reduced. All the three public sector oil companies – IOC, BPCL and HPCL – have not changed the cost of petrol and diesel for the last 15 months. These companies have suffered huge losses due to non-increase in prices commensurate with the cost.
Although the pressure on the companies has reduced due to falling international crude oil prices in the last few months, but they have not cut the prices of petrol and diesel to make up for the previous losses. “I hope the prices should come down once the losses are recovered,” Puri said while attending an event. He said that oil companies behaved responsibly and did not increase retail prices despite the jump in crude oil prices after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. “We didn’t ask them to keep prices stable. They took that decision on their own,” he said.
However, buying crude oil at a higher price increased their cost. At the end of June 2022, he was incurring a loss of Rs 17.4 on one liter of petrol and Rs 27.2 on diesel. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) last revised the prices of petrol and diesel on April 6, 2022. Puri said these companies had incurred a total loss of Rs 21,201.18 crore in the first half of the current financial year due to keeping prices stable. He said that this loss is yet to be recovered.
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