Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday dismissed demands for a rollback in the prices of petrol and diesel, stating the financial condition does not permit a cut.
“I would love to respond to the demands (of the Opposition) but my financial condition does not permit me to do so. Please excuse me. Therefore, I am unable to do so,” Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha, while replying to the general discussion on Budget 2010-11.
Mukherjee had restored the basic customs duty of 5 per cent on crude, 7.5 per cent on diesel and petrol and 10 per cent on other refined products.
He had also raised the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Re one per litre, prompting oil companies to immediately increase the prices of petrol and diesel.
“We cannot live on borrowed resources, I would not like to have a scenario where I have to pledge my gold to borrow money,” Mukherjee said.
Former finance minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha asked Mukherjee whether the government would roll back the decision to increase taxes on petrol and diesel as it would increase prices of products.
Food inflation is hovering around 18 per cent, stung by a drought-related supply crunch in several staple items.
Of late, the rebound in the economy and high demand has also started fanning the prices of non-food products such as steel and metals.
Mukherjee said corrective measures have to be taken to tame inflation and the issue was taken into consideration while formulating the budget.