CPI-M, Samajwadi Party urge government to cut oil prices

November 12th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Samajwadi Party Wednesday criticised the central government’s refusal to bring down the prices of petrol and diesel.While the CPI-M launched a direct attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not reducing oil prices, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh, at a press conference, once again slammed Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.

The CPI-M, in a statement, urged the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to “immediately bring down the administered price of all petroleum products, which will go a long way in bringing down the runaway prices of essential commodities and ensure relief to the harassed ‘aam admi’ (common man).”

The prime minister had told reporters onboard Air India One, on his way back from Oman and Qatar late Monday, that any immediate cut in the prices of transport fuels would not be done since state-run petroleum retailers continued to incur losses.

“The prime minister’s categorical refusal only underlines his insensitivity and at the same time distorts the facts pertaining to the pricing of the petroleum products,” CPI-M said.

“He has made out that the oil marketing companies are making losses due to the under pricing of products. But the fact of the matter is that retail prices of petroleum products in India are higher than in many other countries because of the high taxes charged by the government on them,” the CPI-M statement added.

It pointed out that international oil prices had come down to $60 a barrel from $147 per barrel in July 2007.

The CPI-M and Amar Singh also questioned the government’s decision to bail out the private airlines by reducing the price of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF).

“As we are supporting the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government, we are also being attacked by our former Left colleagues for the wrong doings of Murali Deora,” Amar Singh said.

The Samajwadi Party leader had earlier also criticised Deora.

He had said Saturday: “It is high time that petroleum prices are reduced with the fall in the crude oil prices in the international market. If Murli Deoraji fails to do so, he will face the music soon from the public.”

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