Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday slammed the Centre on the issue of rupee depreciation and said the latest petrol price hike spurred by the weak currency showed Congress-led UPA's "administrative incompetence and incapability."
"Instead of taking steps to control the falling value of the Indian Rupee, the reason for the fuel price hike, central government is just revising the rate of petrol as per its whims and fancies and this is the best example of its administrative incompetence and incapability," she said.
Petrol price was on Saturday hiked by Rs. 1.82 a litre, the third increase this month, as the falling Rupee had made imports costlier.
She described as "height of deceit" the latest hike, which came within 15 days of the previous revision of petrol rates and strongly condemned such attitude of Centre.
"Centre's wrong economic policies and its fuel pricing policies are the reason for repeated increase in prices. The Centre and RBI can take steps to control the falling value of Rupee, but they are instead passing the burden on to the people, which is unacceptable," she said in a statement.
She said if Centre was not equipped to handle the problem, it should focus on retrieving black money stashed abroad. Had this been done, there would not have been any need to revise fuel prices.
"But the Congress government at the Centre is silent on the black money issue. It is helping those who possess black money," she alleged.
The chief minister said the latest hike would have a cascading effect with industries using petrol forced to spend more which they will ultimately pass on to the customers.
The price of products produced there will also increase and the latest hike will further strain the people of the country.
Rupee will further depreciate and inflation will go up, she said, adding considering the welfare of the poor and middle classes, Centre should immediately withdraw Friday's petrol price revision. She also sought strong steps to prevent further fall in value of the Indian currency.