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'Cut oil prices if int'l rates fall further'

The Left also advices the government to plan a fuel price management system, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2006 22:57 IST

The Left parties said on Wednesday that if the price of international crude oil continues to fall, the Centre should further cut petrol and diesel prices and reduce the burden on people.

It has also asked the government to plan a fuel price management system.

The Left, of course, welcomed the decision to slash petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2 and Re 1 respectively.

The Left had been demanding a rollback on petro-product prices following the slide in global crude prices from $71 in early 2006 to $57-58 in the last six weeks.

Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) politburo member, said that if the slide in international crude continues, the government should further cut prices because increase in international price was the rationale given by the government when it hiked prices.

"The reduction is just 50 per cent of the burden that they had imposed when they increased the prices of petrol by Rs 4 and diesel by Rs 2," Yechury said.

D Raja, CPI secretary, said the cut in the prices of petrol and diesel was "positive". "The government has at last considered our demand that the petrol and diesel prices should be reduced," he added.

He said the government should have a long-term policy for regulating the prices of petrol and diesel. "There should be a fuel price management system which can look into issues like how to adjust duties," he added.

The Left parties had raised the issue of reduction in the last UPA-Left Coordination Committee meet, but the two parties had failed to reach a consensus.

The UPA, in fact, had then said that there was no question of reducing prices as crude oil prices were volatile due to the speculative nature of the market and there was a possibility of an increase in demand in the winter.

The reduction, however, became inevitable after UPA chairperson said at the Congress Parliamentary Committee meet on Tuesday that she was in favour of reduction in petro-prices.

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First Published: Nov 29, 2006 22:57 IST