Rajeev Deshpande & Nitin Sethi New Delhi: Inflation on Friday burst through the double-digit barrier to hit 11.05% as the June 5 fuel price hike hit home. With increased transport costs threatening a chain effect, the Manmohan Singh government's political woes deepened as it battled

MUMBAI: Union Minister for Petroleum Murli Deora on Monday approved a price increase for ethanol in Maharashtra which will now be sold at Rs 21.50 a litre. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has been pushing for an increase in the rate for ethanol after a demand from the State's sugar cooperatives and had met the Prime Minister in this regard last week. This decision was taken after a meeting between Mr. Deora and Mr. Deshmukh here on Monday. Proportion

Sujay Mehdudia Despite the recent hike in prices of petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), lakhs of consumers across the country continue to face "severe supply' crunch of petroleum products, including LPG cylinders, leading to "artificial shortage' and hoarding in small cities and rural India.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Wednesday announced a steep hike in fuel prices. It increased the price of petrol by Rs. 5, diesel by Rs. 3 and LPG by Rs. 50 a cylinder, but did not touch kerosene. Almost all Opposition parties, the Left and the UPA's allies criticised the government for the "anti-people' step and threatened to launch nationwide protests. The left parties called for a "powerful, nationwide protest movement' from Thursday till June 11.



Subodh Ghildiyal | TNN The political repercussions of a fuel hike were visible within hours of the announcement, with BJP-led NDA and the CPM coming together to boycott the consultative committee meeting chaired by petroleum minister Murli Deora. The boycott of Deora, which included a protesting band of MPs from BJP, Akali Dal and CPM, only buttresses the fears in Congress that the fuel price hike would have serious political costs.

The government has been deliberating on measures over oil prices through the last fortnight. Meanwhile, the companies' losses rose from Rs 16.34 a litre to Rs 21.43 on each litre of petrol, Rs 23.47 to Rs 31.58 on diesel, Rs 28.72 to Rs 35.98 on kerosene and Rs 305.90 to Rs 352.90 per 14.2-kg cylinder of cooking gas. Together, the three firms are losing Rs 725 crore daily on fuel sales, up from Rs 580 crore.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has recently reaffirmed the authorised status of IGL to serve not only the city of Delhi but also its suburbs in NCR. Going ahead with its expansion plan to meet the public demand, the IGL will cover the areas namely Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad. The decision came following the certain regulatory issues and interpretations put the IGL, a decade-old joint venture company of GAIL, BPCL and Government of NCT of Delhi, expansion on hold due to spiralling prices of other fuel which made consumer to go rapidly on CNG.

Decision Likely Next Week After CWC Meet The Congress's core ministerial panel on Friday gave its green signal to raising motor fuel prices but the quantum of increase emerged as a hitch. A decision is now expected only next week, after two high-profile political meetings