BJP set for fuel price hike protest, Pranab rules out rollback
The government has no intention of rolling back the fuel price hike, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today. His comments come even as the Left parties and the NDA have announced a shutdown on Monday to protest the fuel price hike.delhi Updated: Jul 04, 2010 16:22 IST
The government has no intention of rolling back the fuel price hike, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here Sunday.
"There is no question of a roll back," Mukherjee said, answering queries by reporters on the sidelines of a seminar here.
His comments come even as the Left parties and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance have announced a shutdown on Monday to protest the fuel price hike.
Referring to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiking the repo rates, the rate at which banks borrow from the RBI, he said it was an "appropriate and welcome measure".
"So far as the interest rates are concerned, 25 basis points enhancement in the repo and reverse repo rate is appropriate and a welcome measure.
"And I do hope it will be subsumed in the new policy statement which will be made by the RBI in the later part of this month on July 27," the finance minister said on the sidelines of an Assocham seminar.
In an attempt to make Monday's nationwide strike against fuel price hike a success, the BJP today decided to send its senior leaders out to various state capitals to lead demonstrations and protest marches.
According to the decision, party president Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh will lead the protest in New Delhi.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will lead a protest in Bhopal while Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will do so in Lucknow.
Among other leaders, Venkaiah Naidu will be in Hyderabad, Anant Kumar in Bangalore, Gopinath Munde in Mumbai and Vasundhara Raje in Jaipur, Naqvi said.
On June 25, a ministerial panel, headed by Mukherjee, had lifted the pricing controls on petroleum. As a result, petrol went up by Rs.3.50 a litre. The government hiked the prices of diesel by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene -- known as the poor man's fuel and traditionally spared during periodic fuel price hikes -- by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder.
On Friday, the RBI hiked key interest rates by 25 basis points with immediate effect in an attempt to contain soaring inflation. The repo rate was increased by 25 basis points to 5.5 per cent and the reverse repo rate by a similar quantum to 4 per cent.