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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Reliance bucks India petrol trend
Man filling up car with petrol (generic)
90% of India's petrol firms are state-owned
Reliance Industries, which owns India's biggest private sector oil company, has lifted the price of petrol at the pump.

The two rupees (four US cents; two pence) per litre increase comes in the face of surging global oil prices.

About 90% of India's fuel retail outlets are state-owned and they are currently subsidising the cost of petrol to help the nation's economy.

India's government will decide by the start of next month whether to allow its own retailers to hike fuel prices.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh has limited fuel cost rises to 15% in the past year, but global prices have climbed about 40%.

India, which imports 70% of its oil, fears a negative consumer backlash ahead of elections if it does raise prices, despite the fuel companies losing money on every litre of petrol and diesel sold.

Reliance said its price of diesel would remain unchanged.

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