New Delhi, May 24 (ANI): The Chairman of the Indian Oil Corporation, R.S. Butola, on Thursday defended the oil marketing companies decision to hike the petrol price, saying there was no option but to do so.
Terming the decision to hike the petrol price as unfortunate, Butola said: "We had exhausted all our options. The hike wasn't an easy decision. Oil companies are not entitled to any support from the Consolidated Fund. Choices were very narrow."
Expressing hope that the prices would come down in the near future, Butola said: "Oil price might cool down in the near future. Oil marketing companies has lost 2400 crore in the last two months or so. Oil companies are losing Rs 50 crores daily for keeping the prices low."
He further blamed the petrol price hike on higher under recoveries, and said the IOC did not want to burden the common man.
"We realise the hike is a big burden. It gives us no pleasure to burden our consumers. Increased oil prices do not benefit us. It is in our interest too that the prices cool down. If we didn't increase prices, our under recoveries that had mounted to Rs 4890 crore would have increased further," said Butola.
"In November-December last year, when prices came down we passed on the benefit to the consumer. We are committed to doing that again," he added.
In the steepest ever increase, the UPA-II Government on Wednesday raised petrol prices by about a massive Rs 7.54 per litre, the first hike in rates in six months.
The hike in prices means that the price of petrol in Delhi will go up from Rs.65.64 per litre to Rs.73.14 per litre. In Mumbai, the price will go from Rs.70.66 per litre to Rs.78.16 per litre. In Kolkata, the price will go from Rs.70.03 per litre to Rs.77.53 per litre In Chennai, the price will go from Rs.69.55 per litre to Rs.77.05 per litre.
State-owned oil companies have decided to raise petrol price by Rs 6.28 per litre excluding local sales tax or VAT. The hike translates into Rs 7.50 per litre in Delhi and is the steepest ever.
The decision to hike petrol prices came a day after the end of the Budget Session of Parliament. (ANI)