New Delhi: Amid resentment over sharp hike in petrol prices, Congress has defended Rs 3.14 per litre fuel price hike.
Terming the fuel hike decision as ‘inevitable’, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi tried to assure that the government was trying to find a way to deal with the miseries of the common man.
"It was inevitable when the value of the Rupee has been depreciated.......We have to appreciate that the price of crude oil is going up in the international market. It was a mere 23 dollars per barrel in 2003 and now it is ruling around 110 dollars", he said.
Alvi further said that the oil companies had increased the price on no-profit-no-loss basis.
In a bid to alleviate people’s anger, Alvi said hike in crude oil price triggered the rise of fuel price.
Alvi was grilled at the briefing as reporters were not satisfied with his replies including one holding the state governments "equally responsible" for failure to control rising prices.
He disagreed with a questioner when he said that all steps taken by the government further fuel price hike.
His contention that governments run by the opposition parties should bring down the VAT on fuel as done by the Delhi government evoked questions as to what was the Value Added Tax on it in Congress-ruled Maharashtra.
Alvi did not answer the question but said VAT was higher in Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, all non-Congress states.
When told that UPA allies Trinamool Congress and DMK have demanded a rollback of the fuel price hike, he said the issue involved the government as they are part of the coalition.
(With PTI inputs)