New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday rejected Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee`s justification of the hike in petrol price
that it was due to rise in cost of international crude and
threatened to hold nation-wide agitations on the issue.
"This is a lie. A litre of petrol costs Rs 26 to the
government but it is sold to people at Rs 60. Even traders do
not keep such high margins," BJP spokesperson Prakash
Javadekar told reporters here.
He said the government always cites international prices
when it wants to defend its decision on raising prices of
BJP`s reaction came soon after the Union Finance Minister
said in Kolkata that the hike was because of increase in
prices of crude oil in the international market.
"The price of crude oil in the international market has
touched USD 90 a barrel. Petrol prices have been deregulated
already. So the hike in price was in parity with international
prices," Mukherjee told reporters.
Javadekar, however, rejected the contention saying the cost
revision was unjustified as it hit the common man directly.
"This hike is totally unjustified. It is a record in itself
that the government has hiked petrol price six times in as
many months. A hike of Rs 8.41 in this period is hitting the
common man directly," he said.
He feared that the increase will have a cascading effect
and wondered why petrol price was raised by Rs 3 a litre at a
time when inflation was pegged at seven per cent.
Challenging the government on the issue of under-recovery
on the issue of petroleum prices, he said, "Under-recovery is
a notional concept, not an actual one".
He demanded that government implement Common Price Index
(CPI) to keep a check on inflation, in place of Wholesale
Price Index (WPI), and revoke the fuel price hike.
The main opposition party held a dharna here and warned
nation-wide agitations soon to force a rollback.