New Delhi: Union Minister for Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi on Saturday pushed for reduction in petrol prices and said that the oil marketing companies are making false claims that they are incurring losses. He suggested that bold steps should be taken to reduce the recent increase in petrol prices.
In a letter to Union Minister for Petroleum S Jaipal Reddy, Ravi questioned the claims of oil companies that they are incurring huge losses and asked his cabinet colleague to scrutinise the issue in detail.
He is the second Union Minister after Defence Minister AK Antony to have expressed unhappiness at the petrol price increase. Antony had on Wednesady criticised the hike saying it 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," Ravi 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.
He said Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) made a profit of Rs 12,670 crore in January-March quarter as against the profit of Rs 3,905 crore in last year's quarter. The minister also talked about Bharat Petroleum Corportion Ltd (BPCL) which he said has announced net profit of Rs 3,962 crore in January-March 2012 and Rs 932 crore in the last quarter.
(With additional inputs from PTI)