Questions claims of oil firms that they are incurring losses

Vayalar Ravi on Saturday became the second Union Minister of the Congress, after A.K. Antony, to disapprove of the petrol price hike and asked Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy to take a “closer look” at the issue before deciding on any further increase.

Mr. Ravi, in a letter to Mr. Reddy, questioned the claims of oil companies that they were incurring huge losses and asked him to scrutinise the issue in detail.

Defence Minister Antony said on Wednesday that the hike was “not a correct step” and the oil companies should have shown some “propriety” before taking the decision.

“Apparently, the claim made by oil companies that they are running at a loss seems to be untrue. As a matter of fact, the expenditure of oil companies, including salaries, is among the highest in India and there is a perception that funds are being wasted,” Mr. Ravi, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister, said in the letter.

“In this backdrop, I feel a closer scrutiny is needed before deciding on any further increase in oil prices. Instead, a bold look may be taken at reducing the recent hike,” he said.

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