New Delhi: The government is considering a partial rollback of a hike in diesel prices announced last week as part of a slew of "big bang" economic reforms that have plunged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's coalition into crisis.
A senior source in the ruling Congress party said the rollback was being considered, speaking after a meeting of the senior party leadership. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, however, declined to comment when approached by reporters.
A hike in diesel prices and other reforms such as retail liberalisation prompted the government's biggest ally to withdraw from the coalition on Tuesday evening.
The government last week had raised the diesel price by a steep Rs 5 per litre and capped the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinder to six per household a year, decisions that will rake in an additional Rs 20,300 crore to the oil companies.
The government, however, left untouched the price of petrol and kerosene. Faced with the task of bringing down the ballooning oil subsidy, the governemnt for the first time introduced a cap on supply of LPG cylinders of 14.2 kg that will make the consumers pay market price for cylinders beyond six.
With Agency Inputs