Ruling out rollback of the “small” 45 paise increase in diesel prices, Minister for Petroleum and Gas M. Veerappa Moily on Saturday said bulk consumers like the Railways would have to find their own budget to buy the fuel at market price.

“No, no, there is no question of rollback,” Mr. Moily, who is in Jaipur to attend the Congress brainstorming session, told reporters.

The government two days ago raised diesel prices after a gap of four months by a marginal 45 paise per litre for retail users like car and truck owners and hiked the rate for bulk users like the Defence and the Railways by about Rs. 10, to cut subsidy bill.

The government refused to call its January 17 decision as deregulation even though it permitted oil companies to raise diesel prices by the same quantum from time to time till the over Rs. 9 per litre loss on the fuel was wiped out.

Mr. Moily said diesel and petrol had been deregulated by the BJP-led NDA government in 2002, but the UPA government continued to subsidise diesel.

Asked about the impact of the decision on Railways, Mr. Moily said it will “largely” have no impact as bulk buyers purchase other inputs and fuels at commercial rates. “They are all running commercially and ultimately they have to find their own budget,” he said.

Railways buy 2.428 million tonnes of diesel annually and will have to shell out Rs. 2,727 crore more for buying the fuel at market price. — PTI

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