Decision on petrol price rollback in a few days: Reddy (Lead)

May 25th, 2012 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy Friday said the government is monitoring the situation and would take a “definitive” view in a few days.

“I will come back to you with a definitive view in a few days,” Reddy told reporters here two days after the state-run oil marketing companies announced the steepest hike so far in petrol price.

Reddy said he has discussed the issue with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and would consult state governments to explore the possibilities of lower taxes to reduce the burden on the common man.

Reddy said the decision to hike the petrol price was taken by oil marketing companies and the government was not involved in it.

However, he emphasised that the government cannot allow the image of Indian oil marketing companies to be adversely affected.

On widespread opposition to the hike in petrol price, the minister said: “We are conscious of sense of disturbance among consumers after the petrol price hike.”

Reddy blamed global developments for the problems in the oil sector. “This is a national problem created by global developments.”

He said the oil sector in India was confronting a double disaster: a sharp decline in the value of the rupee and rise in crude oil prices in the international market.

The rupee hit a record low of 56.40 against a dollar this week. It has depreciated by almost 12 percent since the beginning of this financial year.

Besides the opposition parties, the allies of the ruling United Progressive Alliance-government have also opposed the hike in petrol price.

Demanding a rollback in the price hike, Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to lead a procession of her party activists and supporters in Kolkata Saturday.

The Trinamool Congress, the second-largest partner in the ruling United Progressive Alliance, took out a large procession in Kolkata Thursday demanding withdrawal of the hike. It was led by Railway Minister Mukul Roy.

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