No option for government but to hike fuel prices: Congress
The ruling Congress party today supported the government's move to decontrol petrol prices and hike rates of other fuel products, asserting that it had no other option.delhi Updated: Jun 25, 2010 19:22 IST
The ruling Congress party on Friday supported the government's move to decontrol petrol prices and hike rates of other fuel products, asserting that it had no other option.
"However, we believe that the government must have been constrained to take these steps and ensure that the impact is minimal," Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here.
She said the Congress is "always concerned about the welfare of common man and woman".
Natarajan, however, refused to talk about any roll-back in prices, saying it was for the government to decide.
The spokesperson also did not comment on Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's voicing unhappiness over the move.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, defending the hike, said that "it is for the first time since 2002 that the prices of kerosene have been increased".
"The petroleum minister has said time and again that oil companies find it difficult to keep themselves viable unless there is some rationalisation (of fuel prices). If the government has announced a hike, you will be convinced that there was no other option," she told reporters.
The Indian government on Friday freed petrol from administrative control and hiked the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas in a major policy reform that is aimed to help improve its fiscal position and release funds for other programmes.
Petrol will now be costlier by Rs 3.50 per litre, diesel by Rs 2 a litre, kerosene by Rs 3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs 35 per cylinder.