Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today blamed the Centre`s "wrong" economic policies for the spiralling prices of essential commodities and said there is an immediate need for change in pricing of petro products.
Answering a special call attention in the Assembly on soaring prices which have hit the common man and the poor, she hit out at the Centre for increasing fertiliser rates, which she said has been pushing up prices of other commodities.
Pointing out that there has been an increase in fertiliser prices covered by the Centre`s fertiliser subsidy between 2010 and 2012, she said "the increase in prices of agricultural inputs has led to increase in cost of agricultural produce".
Despite the Centre fixing higher procurement rates for paddy in 2009-10 and 2012-13, it failed to benefit farmers due to rise in input costs, she said.
The hike in diesel rates has led to escalated transport cost and prices of various commodities like cereals, vegetables and fruits. "So only if the Centre brings changes in the petro products pricing policy can the rising prices be controlled to some extent," Jayalalithaa said.
She objected to the Centre`s current diesel pricing policy, saying "I have been repeatedly pointing out that the policy being followed in pricing is wrong."
"While determining the prices, instead of the import and export parity prices of crude oil, it is determined based on diesel and petrol import and export parity prices. And this is what the oil companies call `under recovery`," she said.
"..I would like to point out that both the pricing policy of petro products as well as the `under recovery` of oil companies are wrong," the CM said.
She suggested the government should strike a balance in fixing petrol and diesel prices, taking into account the cost of crude oil produced and refined in the country and also of imported oil.
"If this methodology is followed, diesel and petrol will be available to the public at lesser price. With this, the prices can also be kept under control," she said.
The CM also said that fixing of nine LPG cylinders at subsidised rate was also the result of the Centre pursuing a "wrong policy".
Jayalalithaa listed out steps taken by her government to control rising prices which included providing 20 kg of rice free of cost to the poor through PDS and allotting Rs 25 crore to the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation to control prices of rice.