Also Read: Oil Min to decide on diesel price after Madras HC hearing
The 45p a litre hike is now fairly a routine. But oil marketing companies (OMCs) under fire in atleast two states for levying market rates for bulk diesel sales. There were expectations that the hike will be seen by March 19. Around then, the OMCs cut the petrol prices and left diesel prices unchanged. So now you have a case where diesel prices for the third time in three straight months being raised by 45 paise a litre.
The OMCs would still be incurring losses of nearly Rs 1,60,000 crore as far as this fiscal goes. Partial hike of about 40-50 paise a litre is one diesel reform that was announced by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-2. The other one was to sell bulk diesel to consumer at market-aligned prices and this is where the OMCs are facing a lot of pressure. Two High Courts one in Tamil Nadu and one in Kerala have issued a stay order saying that these companies cannot sell to state-owned transportation companies at market rates.
According to sources, the oil ministry is looking at the possibility of moving the Supreme Court and saying that it is apex court, which should be taking up all the reservations by the various state governments. So that’s something else that we have to watch out for as far as diesel reforms goes.