NEW DELHI, April 4 (UPI) -- India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to cut customs duty on crude oil.
Minister Murli Deora said government-controlled oil-marketing companies are reeling under the burden of under-recoveries, the ministry said Friday.
A cut in customs duty would bring down the raw material cost of the oil companies, cushioning them from the surge in international oil prices, the minister said.
"The oil marketing companies -- Indian Oil Corp., Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. -- continue to sell petroleum products below the cost price despite the international crude oil prices hovering over $100 a barrel mark, and Indian basket averaging $99.76 a barrel in March," Deora said.
Deora met with Singh Wednesday and sought his intervention for protecting the oil marketing companies.
"Just like the government scrapped import duty on edible crude oil, 5 percent customs duty on petroleum crude oil should also be made nil. Oil bonds being given by the Government are not enough," he said.