The WPI inflation in mineral oils increased to 16.7 per cent in January 2011 from 7.9 per cent in the corresponding period last year. This is mainly because of the rise in crude oil prices (Brent) in international market, which rose to US $96 per barrel in January 2011 from US $77 per barrel in January 2010 and US $45 per barrel in January 2009. The weighted contribution to overall inflation of mineral oils (weight 9.36%) was 19.7 per cent in January 2011 compared to 9 per cent in January last year.

The Government is committed to make available essential fuels, particularly cooking fuels to the common man at affordable prices. In view of the importance of the household fuels, namely PDS Kerosene and Domestic LPG, the Government has decided that the subsidies on these products will be continued. The PDS Kerosene and Domestic LPG Subsidy Scheme 2002 as well as the Freight Subsidy (for far-flung areas) scheme, 2002 have been extended till 31.03.2014. Suitable measures are being taken at the appropriate time.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena in written reply to a question raised in Rajya Sabha today.

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