New Delhi: Amid sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left Parties over the move to hike the prices of petrol and diesel, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Tariq Anwar has defended the Central Government's decision, and said that there are some compulsions.
"The government has some compulsions. As we all know that whenever prices in international market rise, it has an impact on the domestic market as well. We have to purchase fuel in international currency. The difference between the gap in international value and our domestic currency needs to be recovered," he said.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja on Friday hit out at the government on the issue, and said that this would have a cascading effect on the commoners.
"We strongly oppose this hike in the price of diesel and petrol. We demand that government should tell the oil marketing companies to roll back this. This is going to have cascading effect on the prices. Already the prices of all essential commodities are high, inflation is high. The Congress led UPA-II Government has completely failed to control the prices and contain inflation," he said.
BJP leader Prakash Javadekar also echoed similar sentiments, and termed the government's decision to be completely unacceptable and atrocious.
The government's decision to hike the prices of petrol and diesel has also not gone well with the common man.
Amrinder Singh, a resident of Kolkata, yesterday said that he would quit driving and opt for bullock cart, as affording petrol is indeed a challenge for commoners.
"The government is only raising petrol prices and it has become a burden for a common man and now we are thinking of buying a bullock cart!" he said.
Our demand that the government should decrease the prices of petrol, inflation is round the corner since the day Congress is in power," said Rakesh, a resident of Patna.
Petrol became costlier by Rs. 1.50 per litre and diesel by 45 paise from last night. The rates have been revised in tune with the rise in international rates. The increase does not include VAT or local sales tax.
The new rates for petrol sold at Indian Oil Corporation pumps will now be Rs. 69.0 6 per litre in Delhi, Rs. 75.91 in Mumbai, Rs. 76.62 in Kolkata and Rs. 72.16 in Chennai.
Diesel will now cost Rs. 48.15 a litre in Delhi, Rs. 54.28 in Mumbai, Rs. 52.04 in Kolkata and Rs. 51.23 in Chennai.