Govt defends decision on diesel price hike
New Delhi: Facing flak over move to raise diesel price, Government on Thursday said it was a "very difficult" balancing act of generating revenue and protecting people's interest and questioned parties' opposition to the hike when they themselves had effected similar decisions in the past.
"We have always tried to mitigate the burden on the common people. But at the same time, we've kept larger economic imperatives in mind," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said.
Hitting out at the opposition for denouncing the government move, he said the Trinamool Congress and the BJP should not oppose it as they have themselves were party to similar decisions on different occasions when in power.
"In response to what was you told me is the reaction of the Trinamool Congress, I am quite surprised. Because if I remember correctly, it's the TMC government (in West Bengal) which had raised power tariffs in Kolkata. Therefore, a party which raises power tariffs, I don't think they should be talking about the impact of deregulation even before studying it," he told reporters here.
He said as far as the BJP is concerned, "I think they would be well served to reflect at their own track record.... I had recounted that they had raised petrol and oil prices by as much as 66 times between 1999 and 2004, give or take a number here or a number there."
Tewari said the UPA government and Congress have always put national interest over party's and political interest.
The Minister maintained that in a "tough" international situation, it is "a very difficult balancing act where you have to balance the twin imperatives of revenue generation - because a large part of your crude is imported from abroad- and ensuring that as less of the burden is passed on the people as possible."