Global prices making oil subsidies difficult: Pranab

August 4th, 2011 - 3:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Thursday blamed high oil prices internationally for rising inflation in the country and said it was with great difficulty that the government was providing subsidies for petroleum products.

“The international prices of crude oil in May 2004 was $36 per barrel. Today, the price is $107 per barrel. Can I supply oil at the prices when we got it at $36 per barrel today? Should I provide subsidies?” Mukherjee asked while replying to a special debate on price rise in the Lok Sabha.

Noting that there were suggestions from MPs on withdrawing diesel subsidies for passenger car users, the finance minister said he can accept that proposal and see to it that such sections do not get the subsidy.

He said nearly 15 percent of diesel is consumed by the passenger car segment, while 12 percent goes for agriculture and eight percent for power generation.

The opposition has slammed the government on spiralling prices of essential commodities.

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