Justification of petrol price rise `a lie`, says BJP
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 18:05
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 petroleum products.

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.


First Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 18:05

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