Chennai: Slamming the hike in fuel prices, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday said the move amounted to betraying the middle and lower classes and made a fresh demand for changing the fuel pricing policy.
"Even before the ink had dried up after signing the hike in prices of diesel recently, the Centre is increasing the price of petrol by Rs 1.50 and diesel by 45 paise...It amounts to betraying the poor and middle classes. I strongly condemn this anti-people action of the Central government," she said in a statement.
She said the present pricing policy and deregulation had resulted in fuel prices going upwards.
Jayalalithaa said the prices would remain under control if they were based on rates of domestic crude and the cost of its refining, that of imported oil and its refining besides the value of a stable foreign exchange, she said.
Instead, diesel rates were determined on the basis of Trade Parity price due to which "oil companies are making huge benefits. These profits are swindled from people and such wrong pricing policies result in price-rise," she said.
Jayalalithaa had last week demanded that the existing pricing policy be changed.
Monthly review of diesel prices was a "venom being thrust on people in instalments," as hike in fuel prices will result in increase in prices of essential commodities, she said.
At one side there were scams in Telecom (2G), Defence (chopper deal) and Sports (CWG), and on the other side Centre was effecting such moves, she said.
Jayalalithaa demanded that Centre withdraw its order allowing oil companies to fix prices and also rollback the latest hike.