Lalu Yadav justifies fuel price hike
RJD chief said he had talks with Sonia Gandhi who too had favoured nominal increase in petroleum prices.india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 18:31 IST
Justifying the hike in fuel prices, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Tuesday said the government was forced to take the step due to increase in prices of petroleum products in the international market but assured the people there would be no corresponding hike in rail fares.
"It is true that none of the UPA partners are in favour of a petroleum price hike but in world market its prices are growing fast which is sucking our valuable income....That is why this step has been taken", he told reporters.
The RJD chief said he had talks with Sonia Gandhi who too had favoured nominal increase in petroleum prices.
Asking people to save oil in the larger interest of the country, he said the increase was affected after a long gap and keeping the difficulties of weaker sections in mind, prices of LPG and kerosene were not touched.
However, he said "we will have to think of a long-term strategy on the matter".
The Minister said the Railways would have to pay Rs 422 crore more on the account of the Rs 2 increase in diesel prices but assured the people that passenger and freight rates would not be affected.
"Passenger and freight rates would not be allowed to go up. We will be considering other methods to overcome this situation", he said.