Sinha calls for subsidy cuts but opposes fuel price hike



Mumbai: Former finance minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha Thursday said his party would oppose any hike in fuel prices as it would burden the common man, but stressed on the urgent need for fiscal consolidation by reducing subsidies.

"We will oppose any hike in fuel prices," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting organised by the Indian Merchants' Chamber (IMC) here this evening ahead of the government announcing hike in diesel prices.

Sinha, however, in his address stressed upon reduction in subsidies and bring about fiscal consolidation.

Sinha also said that the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM) enacted during the NDA regime has not been followed by the present government.

The government today decided to hike diesel prices by Rs 5 per litre effective midnight, but left petrol, kerosene and cooking gas rates untouched.

It also decided to restrict supply of subsidised cooking gas to six cylinders per household in a year.

The former finance minister also stressed upon creation and upgrading of infrastructure, boost to domestic savings and investment along with change in quality of expenditure to prop up the economy, which has been on a downhill since the middle of last fiscal.

In FY12, the GDP growth hit a low of 6.5 percent.

Talking on the recovery of domestic economy, another senior BJP leader and former divestment minister Arun Shourie said the country needs specific solutions to different problems to boost growth.

Similarly, former power minister and BJP leader Suresh Prabhu stressed on the need for parliamentary standing committees to have more expertise as the complexities of the economy have grown manifold over the years.

PTI