Terming the decision to hike petrol prices by Rs. 7.54 per litre on Wednesday as tough and difficult call, state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs), on Thursday, hinted at a possible cut in prices during the next review due to softening of crude oil prices in the international markets.

No roll back

“There is no possibility of the current hike being rolled back. The current trend prevailing in the international market for crude oil prices is encouraging and there could possibly a downward revision in price of petrol during the next revision early next month. It is tough for the consumers but we cannot carry on with such huge losses for which we are not even compensated,” Indian Oil Corporation Chairman R.S. Butola told a new conference here.

Also present was the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) Chairman, S. Roy Choudhry.

Decontrol

After the decontrol of petrol prices in June 2010, OMCs revise the prices on 1 and 16 of every month on the basis on average international price and exchange rate in the previous fortnight.

“We are hopeful that the international crude oil prices will come down and we will pass the benefit of that to the consumers,” he said.

The OMCs had passed the benefit to the consumers in November and December 2011. We are committed to passing on any benefit we accrue as a result of rupee appreciating against dollar,” he said.

Mr. Butola said there was no proposal for rollback of petrol prices raised on Wednesday stating that no section had asked the OMCs to reduce the prices. Mr. Chowdhry chipped in to say that nobody had instructed them to reduce prices.

The IOC Chairman said that as petrol was a free product, the company did not get compensation and there is not support from the government or upstream companies.

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