New Delhi: Apparently finding itself on the
backfoot over some UPA constituents too protesting the latest
hike in fuel prices, Congress on Monday said hard decisions have
to be taken sometimes in national interest.
The issue needs to be looked at in a wider perspective
and it has to be seen how the country can reduce its
dependence on hydrocarbons energy, Congress spokesperson
Manish Tewari said at the AICC briefing.
"When prices rise, it affects common people. We are
sensitive towards it. But sometimes hard decisions have to be
taken in national interest", he said adding that the purpose
behind going in for the Indo-US nuclear deal was also to bring
down the dependence on hydrocarbons.
Referring to the situation caused by the oil shock of
1974, he said that even in 2011, 84 per cent of the country`s
crude oil requirements are being made through imports in view
of the "hydrocarbon addiction".
Seeking to point out that the situation was no different
in other countries, he said that USA has brought out its
strategic reserves built 20 years back to meet the growing
demand for oil.
He said there is need to rise over political
considerations to decide on the energy policy of the country.
His comment came a day after the Nationalist Congress
Party (NCP), an ally of Congress at the Centre and in
Maharashtra, launched an agitation against the hike in
the prices of kerosene, diesel and LPG in the state.
DMK president M Karunanidhi, whose party is also part of
the UPA, has utilised the opportunity to urge the Tamil Nadu
government to emulate West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee and cut sales tax on fuel to lessen the impact of the
hike on the people. Banerjee`s party is the second largest
constitutent in the UPA after Congress.