Common people, opposition sore over fuel price hike

July 1st, 2009 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Common people and opposition parties alike sharply criticised the government for the hike in the petrol and diesel prices announced Wednesday evening.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main opposition party, said the hike during economic crisis would only increase the people’s problems and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) demanded the “unjustified” decision should be withdrawn.

Petroleum Minister Murli Deora announced a hike of Rs.4 per litre on petrol and Rs.2 on diesel citing increasing international crude oil prices.

“This is the beginning of 100 burdens that the Congress will put on the public during the 100 days of its agenda. Hike in petroleum and diesel prices at a time of the financial crisis will add to the woes of people, who are already going through bad times,” Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP vice president told IANS.

CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat said: “We strongly condemn it.

“It will have a cascading effect on the prices of essential commodities. The hike is unjustified. We demand it should be withdrawn immediately,” Karat told IANS.

She expressed her surprise that the government had increased the prices on the “eve of the budget session” of parliament.

Congress national spokesperson Manish Tewari defended the government’s decision. “These are tough decisions taken in the national interest,” he said.

Asked why did the government not wait for the parliament session to begin, he only said: “This is primarily a commercial decision, the government has already given exorbitant subsidies on kerosene.”

Common people also felt the hike was not justified.

Adnan Farooqi, a software engineer who travels from Delhi to Gurgaon every day, told IANS: “The hike will have an adverse impact on the monthly budget of middle-class people like us.

“This will add to our commuting costs that are already high in a city like Delhi,” he said.

Bijender Singh, a farmer in Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh, told IANS: “Bhaisahab (brother), the increase in diesel and petrol prices will cost us too much because in my place we don’t get electricity supply for more than three-four hours a day.”

He added: “We depend mainly on tubewells run by diesel engines to irrigate our fields. I don’t know for whose welfare is this government working.”

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