Govt ready to talk to allies on rollback of fuel price hike | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt ready to talk to allies on rollback of fuel price hike

delhi Updated: Feb 27, 2010 21:07 IST
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In wake of UPA allies mounting pressure on the Centre to rollback the hike in fuel prices, Congress on Saturday said the government will make a decision after talking to them in the country's interest.

The party also indicated that it will not be averse to any partial rollback of the hike on the petroleum prices though it maintained that the decision was a "transparent" one.

"Government will take a decision in the country's interest after discussing it internally. Government is competent enough to deal with the situation," party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad said.

His remark came when pointed out that two crucial constituents of the ruling UPA -- Trinamool Congress and DMK -- today sought rollback of petroleum products hike saying it would hurt the common.

Asked what is the party's view on this hike, Ahmad said, "the party has no rigid view. Government took a decision and
the party stands by it. If government again takes some decision after talking to allies in the interest of the nation, the party has no objection to it."

Another party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, when asked about the controversy over the issue, said, "It is a budget
proposal. Ultimately, it has to seen what is decided by Parliament... let us wait for Parliamentary approval or
disapproval first."

Asked whether the government did not talk to minister from the allies before the decision, Ahmad said," it is for them to tell whether it was discussed in the Cabinet or not. But if there is still any confusion and allies want a second thought on, the government will talk to them."

Ahmad at the same time hailed the budget as "transparent" and "honest effort" saying that by announcing the hike in petrol prices, the government proved it is transparent as it could have done this even after budget.

Singhvi also said, "the government has been upfront by increasing the excise duty on petrol in the budget as states will also be able to get share of the increased duty. Had the increase been made after it, they would have got nothing."

A party leader on the condition of anonymity, however, said better political handling with parties like SP and BSP would have prevented the situation for the government.

He said though the government will survive any cut motion, if it at all comes up, and cross the majority mark, but admitted the government minus the support of these allies gives it a shaky image.

He exuded confidence that allies which are participating in the government will not reach to the level of support withdrawal and some agreement will be reached with them.