LDF calls shutdown in Kerala against fuel price hike

June 4th, 2008 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, June 4 (IANS) Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) Wednesday called a state-wide dawn-to-dusk shutdown Thursday to protest the hike in fuel prices. “The central government should correct this policy. The Left Front had asked the government not to (hike prices). The government policy should not be to help increase the profits of oil companies,” said LDF convenor Vaikom Viswan.

Speaking in Thiruvananthapuram after a cabinet meeting, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the government would take a decision on waiving a portion of sales tax on fuel after consulting the finance minister.

Justifying the price hike, state Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said: “The price of crude oil has touched $135 per barrel. The oil companies are facing losses of Rs.2,500 billion and the government has no other way to overcome this problem.”

Flaying the price hike, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former central minister O. Rajagopal said: “The state and central governments are making use of this price increase to make more money through taxes. The centre did not even consider the proposal mooted by Left parties, which are propping up the government. It is the people who have to face all the trouble.”

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