Petroleum minister Murli Deora today started consultations with political parties, including partners in the UPA government, for an increase in fuel prices ahead of presenting the proposal to the union cabinet.
Deora is reported to have discussed the issue with telecom minister and a senior leader of UPA ally DMK, A Raja, who is reported to be non-committal and is believed to have shifted the onus of any decision to party chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi.
With the petroleum ministry seeking implementation of the Kirit Parikh panel recommendation of freeing petrol and diesel prices, the Congress core group is also meeting later in the day to discuss the report on fuel pricing reforms.
Already, there seems to be a consensus that the proposed price hike should, as far as possible, spare LPG and kerosene as it would directly affect households hit hard by rising prices of essential commodities.
The Kirit Parikh committee has recommended an increase of Rs100 per LPG cylinder and Rs6 per litre of kerosene. The current subsidy burden per cylinder of LPG is Rs287, the panel had pointed out while presenting the report.
For petrol and diesel, the panel had suggested increases of Rs4.72 and Rs2.33 per litre, respectively.