‘Diesel prices to rise by 40-50 paise every month’

Diesel prices will be hiked by 40-50 paise per litre every month until losses on the fuel are completely wiped out, oil minister M Veerappa Moily said on Friday. "Until further orders, oil marketing companies can increase it by 40-50 paise (per litre) every month," he told reporters here.

The government had on January 17 decided to move towards freeing diesel prices from state control and gave powers to state-owned oil firms to raise prices in small measures every month till all of their losses are wiped out.

Moily, however, did not say when the oil firms will effect the second price increase.

Rahul steps in for fishermen

With Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi taking up their cause, the oil ministry on Friday issued orders saying diesel for fishermen boats will be sold at subsidised rates. Diesel-run fishing boats are treated by oil companies as bulk users and charged almost Rs 10 more than the Mumbai retail price. Fishermen opposed the move as it would make their business unviable. Their cause was taken up by Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan to Gandhi, who in turn called oil minister M Veerappa Moily who got the order issued.

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