PM: Energy subsidy is not for ever
PRIME MINISTER Manmohan Singh has, for the first time, dropped hints of an impending oil price hike. And it came on Monday on the occasion of his completion of two years in office.india Updated: May 23, 2006 00:58 IST
PRIME MINISTER Manmohan Singh has, for the first time, dropped hints of an impending oil price hike. And it came on Monday on the occasion of his completion of two years in office.
"It must be recognised that despite the enormous pressure of high international oil prices, we have moderated its inflationary impact. However, we cannot continue to subsidise energy consumption on this scale," the PM said while releasing a 64-page report card -- Report to the People -- on his government's performance.
Singh did not elaborate on the impending oil price hike that threatens to adversely hit the "aam aadmi" -- the centrepiece of the UPA's CMP. In fact, the common man did not figure in either the PM's speech or in UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's address to the gathering.
Sonia said the challenges in the agriculture sector impose an urgent and special responsibility on the government and so do the concerns of handloom weavers, unorganised labour and tribals. And notwithstanding the differences in perceptions between the UPA allies and supporting parties -- though she did not name the Left -- the partners were committed to the coalition. "The UPA is not just a collection of political parties. (It) is an idea that reflects the very nature of our society and polity, that celebrates the values that form the bedrock of our nationhood," she said.
The Left, which was not present during the release of the report, joined the UPA over dinner.