Competition watchdog to probe petrol price fixing

 The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said Saturday it would shortly finalise the probe into alleged fixing of petrol prices by cartelisation among oil marketing companies (OMCs).

"We are in the process of finalising the probe very soon.We are in the process of sending them (OMCs) an order which will ensure that there is investigation to see what is happening in terms of petrol prices," CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla told mediapersons here on the sidelines of a seminar organised by industry body Assocham.

The CCI, which is empowered to ensure fair trading practices, had written to the oil ministry on the issue, but the latter said it had no role in deciding the price of petrol as it was a deregulated product.

State-run OMCs Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have virtual monopoly on crude oil imports and on the distribution of petroleum products. 

On the issue of state miner Coal India's alleged abuse of its near-monopoly position, Chawla said the CCI had received the investigation report from its director general.

"The Commission as a whole will look at the matter and then take a decision," Chawla said