Fuel retailers to raise diesel, petrol prices by Feb 16

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - State fuel retailers may marginally raise petrol and diesel prices on Friday or Saturday, the chairman of Bharat Petroleum Corp. (BPCL) said on Thursday.

India's three state-run fuel retailers - Indian Oil Corp (NSI:IOC.NS - News), BPCL (NSI:BPCL.NS - News) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (NSI:HINDPETRO.NS - News) - tend to move their fuel prices in tandem.

India said last month it would allow fuel retailers to raise the price of subsidised diesel by 1 U.S. cent a litre every month and asked bulk buyers to pay market rates.

"On diesel prices there is a cabinet decision that we can raise prices by 0.40 rupees-0.50 rupees a litre and the next increase is falling due on February 15," R. K. Singh told Reuters.

He also said fuel retailers are currently suffering a revenue loss of 1.23 rupees a litre on retail sales of petrol.

"We might increase petrol prices by 1 rupee or so," he said, adding prices of both the fuels will be raised together.

R. S. Butola, chairman of IOC, the country's biggest refiner and fuel retailer, said on Wednesday diesel prices will be reviewed on Friday or Saturday.

A litre of diesel currently cost 47.65 rupees for retail customers in New Delhi while petrol is sold at 67.26 rupees, according to IOC's website.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)

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