Is the government on a suicide mission? Its move to hike diesel prices by 12% is a very steep hike in a sensitive fuel item, one which directly affects farmers, and has a cascading effect on a number of goods and services such as public transport, and food items.
The government yesterday issued bonds worth Rs 21,942 crore to the oil marketing companies to compensate for the losses incurred by them. IOC got about 54% of the total bonds while BPCL was issued nearly a fourth and HPCL the rest. These bonds have a coupon of 6.9% and mature in 2026. Since the oil marketing companies have little leeway in fixing prices of petroleum products resulting in losses, especially on the sale of kerosene and LPG.
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The government gave oil marketing companies something to cheer before they prepare the third quarter’s results. They have got bonds to compensate them for the losses incurred on selling retail petroleum products like PDS kerosene and LPG. Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation have been issued bonds worth Rs 22,000 crore, with the companies getting 54.4%, 24.2% and 21.3% respectively.