IOC has been pleading with the government to move petrol back to a controlled regime

After two months of losses, oil marketing companies (OMCs) have started making profits on sale of petrol, thanks to the softening global price and an excise cut announced by the government last week. The OMCs have begun making a margin of around Rs 1 on every litre sold. The three — Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum — were losing around Rs 6 on every litre of petrol in the first fortnight of this month. To prevent any price increase in petrol, the government last Thursday cut the excise duty by Rs 5.30 a litre. Until then, it was charging Rs 14.78 through excise on every litre. The move almost covered the loss that the OMCs were incurring on petrol.