Indiaآ’s oil bill soars to all-time high

Vol 4, PW 1 (16 Feb 00) News in Brief

Oil minister Ram Naik reveals that Indias crude import bill this financial year will be a massive Rs55,000cr ($12.82bn).

Naik told Indias parliament this month that a 134% increase in the international price of crude is to blame. In a presentation on the Indian oil and gas sector Naik told MPs the government subsidy on kerosene is equivalent to Rs7.85 ($0.18) per litre and the subsidy on LPG equivalent to Rs144 ($3.34) per cylinder.

Naik said the retail price of diesel would have to rise in line with international trends, unless the finance ministry and state government reduce sales tax. Naik stressed his ambition to slash the Rs11.25 ($0.26) price difference between diesel and kerosene, which he blamed for the adulteration of diesel by criminals.

Naik said new Dealer Selection Boards (LPG selection agencies) would be in place by March 31st.