Left, TDP and JD-S call for protest day against oil prices

November 24th, 2008 - 4:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) The Left parties, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Monday called for a protest day on Dec 2 against increasing prices of petrol and diesel and the government’s “callous stand” on the issue.Condemning the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the parties said in a joint statement: “The Manmohan Singh government is refusing to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel despite the steady fall in the international oil prices.”

Protest demonstrations will be organised all over the country on Dec 2, said the statement signed, among others, by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat, JD-S’s H.D. Deve Gowda, TDP’s N. Chandrababu Naidu and Communist Party of India’s A.B. Bardhan.

The Manmohan Singh government, the statement said, is “adopting a callous stand by refusing to cut the prices of petrol and diesel and providing relief to the people who are suffering from the all round price rise of essential commodities. Reduction of petroleum prices will have a beneficial effect on the economy and bring down prices of all other commodities.”

Giving details, the statement went on to add: “The international oil prices have fallen below $50 per barrel in the past week. The administered price of petrol and diesel was increased in June 2008 by Rs.5 and Rs.3 per litre of petrol and diesel when the international oil prices had reached a level of $123 per barrel.

“There is no justification for refusing to make a substantial cut in the prices of petrol and diesel when the government itself has admitted that the administered price of petrol and diesel are based upon an Indian basket calculated at $67 a barrel,” the statement said.

Citing the reduction in the prices of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) used by airline companies in five phases in the past four months, the statement said: “The prices of aviation fuel has been brought down from around Rs.71,000 per kilo litre to around Rs.43,000 per kilo litre as of now. The ATF has also been exempted from import duty of five percent.

“Neither the Prime Minister nor the Finance Minister considered the losses suffered by the oil marketing companies when providing such a largesse to the private airline companies.”

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