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CAG flays govt’s fuel pricing policy


The CAG today castigated government’s fuel pricing policy saying it gave undue benefit of Rs 667 crore to Essar Oil
CAGNew Delhi: The CAG today castigated government’s fuel pricing policy saying it gave undue benefit of Rs 667 crore to Essar Oil and Reliance Industries, and called for renegotiating rates at which diesel is bought from private refiners.

State-owned fuel retailers buy diesel from private refiners as their own production is insufficient to meet domestic demand.

This purchase is done at trade parity price (TPP) which is 80:20 ratio of import parity price (actual import cost) and export parity price (actual price realised on exports).

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in a report tabled in Parliament today, said private refiners export balance petroleum products they produce at prices comparable to EPP/free-on-board (FOB), which are lower than TPP/import parity price (IPP).

“Procurement at TPP/IPP affords an undue benefit to private refiners (RIL and Essar Oil), which was estimated at Rs 667 crore on diesel in only one year ie 2011-12,” it said.

The same principal is used to buy fuel from standalone refineries like MRPL. “The benefit to stand alone PSU refineries on the same count was Rs 1,428 crore during 2011-12,” it said.

As an illustration, CAG said TPP of diesel during 2011-12 at Jamnagar in Gujarat, where the private refineries are located, was Rs 40,031 per kilolitre and average EPP of diesel at the same location was Rs 38,625 per kl.

“Actual export realisation of RIL on diesel during 2011-12 was only Rs 38,823 per kl, slightly higher than the average EPP. Thus, procuring products from private and standalone refineries at TPP/IPP affords an undue benefit to the former,” it said.

CAG said Mangalore Refinery (MRPL) benefited Rs 601 crore, Chennai Petroleum (CPCL) Rs 500 crore and Numaligarh Refineries Rs 327 crore on sale of diesel to state oil marketing companies (OMCs) in 2011-2 on similar terms.

“Audit, thus, is of the opinion that there is scope for negotiation with the private refiners to rationalise the contracted sale price which would benefit OMCs,” it said.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) stated that private refineries were bearing central sales tax (CST) incidence and coastal freight for moving the product to OMC locations. If private refineries are paid EPP based price, CST and coastal freight will have to be borne by the purchasing OMC.

CAG, however, said that TPP/IPP being charged on supply of diesel/kerosene/LPG is not the rate applicable to the source source location (Jamnagar) but that of delivery location like Kochi and Haldia.

“The IPP/TPP of products at all the port locations in the country (except Kandla in Gujarat) is higher than that of Jamnagar port,” it said adding even after considering CST an freight borne by private refiners, there was a benefit of Rs 667 crore on diesel to them in 2011-12.

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