Fuel prices hiked

After months of delay, the Government finally raised petrol price by Rs 2 a litre and diesel by Re 1 per litre from 14 February.

The decision has invited the wrath of opposition parties with BJP saying that the increase is sure to ‘trigger inflationary trends’.

The Left parties, which support the government from outside, also flayed the hike and demanded its roll-back.

They have also threatened nationwide protests and said the move would contribute to the overall inflation, which has already hit the common man badly.

Petrol in Delhi will now cost Rs 45.52 a litre, while in Mumbai it is dearer by Rs 2.13 at Rs 50.51 per litre.

A litre of diesel in the national capital would now cost Rs 31.76 while in Mumbai it has gone up from Rs 34.94 to Rs 36.08 a litre.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, instead of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which took up the matter because of the political sensitivity of the issue, particularly when the general elections are nearing, however, decided against lowering duties to limit the impact of high global oil prices.

‘We tried hard not to increase fuel prices but it had become impossible for the public sector oil companies to continue operations with losses mounting to about Rs 72,000 crore,’ Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told reporters at Delhi.

Deora played down the Left opposition on the decision saying he had spoken to Brinda Karat of CPM had explained the severe strain caused by the rising international oil prices that touched 100 dollars a barrel mark on 2 January.

‘She condemned the price hike but I hope they (Left) will understand.’

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