The finance ministry has promised to give Rs. 12,000 crore in cash to make up for the losses incurred by oil companies by selling fuel below cost price, a senior petroleum ministry official said on Sunday.

“We have had exhaustive discussions with the Ministry of Finance. They (Finance Ministry) have promised Rs. 12,000 crore in cash, which will be provided in the next supplementary grant,” Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, S. Sundareshan told reporters here.

IOC, BPCL and HPCL are projected to lose Rs. 29,405 crore on sale of domestic LPG and kerosene below cost. Another Rs. 12,000 crore loss is projected on petrol and diesel.

They lose Rs. 3.06 a litre on petrol, Rs. 1.56 per litre on diesel, Rs. 17.23 a litre on kerosene and Rs. 299.01 a LPG cylinder.

Oil Minister Murli Deora had last week pleaded with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for keeping his July 2009 promise of making up the losses on the cooking fuel by way of either oil bonds or cash. It was agreed that losses on petrol and diesel would be made up by upstream firms like ONGC.