Congress core group meets to debate issue

Even as the Congress core group headed by party president Sonia Gandhi got down to debate the fuel price hike, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily said on Friday that the decision on hiking diesel and LPG prices would be taken “as quickly as possible.”

A decision on increasing the supply of subsidised cylinders from six to nine per household a year would also be taken soon, he told journalists.

The urgency to raise the prices comes in wake of the fuel subsidy burgeoning to nearly Rs. 1,60,000 crore during 2012-13.

Asked about the proposals sent by his Ministry to the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Mr. Moily said: “When the decision is taken, you will be the first to know. The Kelkar Committee recommendations are under serious consideration.” The Ministry’s proposals are reportedly based on recommendations of the Vijay Kelkar Committee, which was appointed by the Finance Ministry to suggest a road map for fiscal consolidation.

The Kelkar panel had recommended an immediate hike in the price of diesel by Rs. 4 a litre, kerosene by Rs. 2 a litre and LPG by Rs. 50 per cylinder. Thereafter, it suggested raising the rates in a phased manner over the next two to five years or till the time the subsidy component on diesel, LPG and kerosene is wiped out.

  • Kelkar panel had recommended Rs. 4 hike on diesel

  • Households may get nine subsidised cylinders instead of six