Chennai: Slamming the Centre`s move to deregulate diesel prices, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday said it would pave the way for regular increase in prices of various commodities as oil companies have been authorised to revise prices periodically.
Holding that this decision, besides that of increasing the cap of subsidised LPG cylinders from six to nine was taken at the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs in which union minister M K Alagiri of DMK is a member, she sought to know if he had opposed it "or kept silent as he could not understand the language or he did not attend the meeting."
"Following the Centre`s decision to deregulate petrol, oil companies are periodically revising rates.The same is going to happen for diesel also. Subsequently whenever prices of fuel goes up, it will also result in increase in prices, thus affecting the standard of life of the poor," she said in an official statement here.
Jayalalithaa observed that diesel price is generally controlled by the government to ensure that the price does not go up, affecting the common people.
She said the Centre, by deregulating diesel, was compounding problems of people, who are already suffering due to corruption, rising prices, inflation and increase in railway passenger fares.
The Chief Minister said diesel is an important part of the economy and a price increase would have a cascading effect of hike in prices of essential commodities, bus fares and others.
Jayalalithaa said the government was trying to escape criticism by increasing the LPG cap, but people had been demanding that cylinders should be supplied without any cap.
"DMK chief M Karunanidhi often talks about price rise. But the CCPA in which Alagiri is a member has taken today`s decisions. Did Alagiri extend support for these? Did he oppose? Did he keep quiet since he could not understand the language or did he not participate in the meeting? Karunanidhi should explain this to the people," she said.
Jayalalithaa demanded that in the interests of the poor, the centre should roll back the diesel regulation and supply cylinders without cap.