India should deregulate diesel price: Planning Commission

May 31st, 2011 - 8:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) The Planning Commission has recommended that the government deregulate the price of diesel, thus allowing the oil marketing companies to decide the market rates, a member of the plan panel said here Tuesday.

Speaking at a workshop on Cleaner Liquid Fuels and Improved Vehicular Technologies, B.K. Chaturvedi, a former cabinet secretary, said: “Planning Commission has always recommended deregulating the price of diesel, but now it depends on the government. But the commission has always supported this point.”

Chaturvedi instead pitched for selective subsidy to people living below poverty line. “If direct subsidy needs to be given on diesel for a particular section, then it is a different thing and giving subsidy for the below poverty line people is a different thing.”

“But as per me and the Planning Commission, giving subsidy to the richer section of people is not right,” he said.

The government had last year deregulated petrol prices but did not take a similar step for diesel as it is not in favour of such a move considering the implications on farming community as well as inflation.

Chaturvedi also expressed concern over growing number of cars in the country. “A group has been setup to analyse it and come out with some sort of conclusion soon.”

R.K. Pachauri, director general of TERI, emphasised on a clear road map to solve the problem of air pollution. “There is a challenge of water quality, air quality, deforestation and wild life. But there is no simple solution to it,” he added.

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